Hi, I would really appreciate if anyone could help me by offering idea
for underplanting olive trees.
I have a place in Corfu which is one of the most northerly Gree
Islands therefore it does not suffer the dry arid landscape as island
further south. In fact it owes it's verdance to the rains of winter.
The two trees at the entrance to the house are old, rugged and full o
character of their own, but as there is no colour in my new garden thi
is the ideal location to add a splash.
We have just had a low wall built around the base of each of the trees
I'd love to add some planting inside the wall but I'm stuck for ideas.
The garden is in a rural location the surrounding countryside fille
with the typical wild flowers of Greece.
I did think about a 'one colour' planting scheme such as lavenda
hoping that it's shrubiness would compliment their ancient neighbours.
Any suggestions would really be appreciated.
Lavender will not like the shade. How about herbs? mint and oregano
will make it in shade, and at the edges where you have part sun, you
can plant thyme, sage, and rosemary. Never run out of herbs again.
I hadn't thought about the shade from the trees, many thanks you hav
just saved me money and wasted effort.
Thats a great suggestion you made about planting up herbs, ho
appropriate it would be to grow them. Herbs are such an essentia
ingredient in Corfiot cooking I'm sure they will be well used.
They would also ensure that the garden would blend in with the loca
Many tavernas have little pots of oregano on their tables to help dete
the mosquitos. I will make sure I plant swathes of it!
Be careful. Oregano and mint can be quite invasive. On the other hand,
sage, rosemary, and thyme behave very well.
Try planting a few sage, which can grow somewhat shrubby.
Plant thyme as a ground cover; it's quite good between stepping stones
if the stones are spaced 2 inches (5 cm) or more apart.
Rosemary is available either as a ground cover or as a shrub. Either
would be good around olives. I have a rosemary shrub that is now 20
years old or more. It's taller than I am. The trunk is about 3-4
inches in diameter. The branches are twisted and very picturesque.
Oregano can be kept under control in a large flower pot. It takes about
the same care as sage, rosemary, and thyme. They all require only a
moderate amount of water. Mint can also be kept under control in a
large pot, but it needs much more water.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Here in the frozen north, mint definitely needs a rhizome barrier.
Oregano is fairly well behaved, but putting down a barrier should give
peace of mind. But they should be used to cover ground, not in a pot.
We make herbal tea every night (so let me suggest lemon balm as well,
and that, too, needs a barrier), and a few square meters of herbs can
satisfy all the herb needs a family may have. Plus we marinate or add
herbs to just about everything we eat before dessert.
or as a foundation plant.
yes, I think rosemary as an accent plant has its merits. But the ground
cover varieties I have tasted were horribly bitter. so I vote shrub.
The other herbs with the exception of mint all can be made to look
good, though my experience is that sage grows in a full bush only in
full sun. Otherwise it might get rangy (this from experience in a
warmer climate, when I had just rosemary and sage).
Your replies are so much more than I expected, what a help and wealth o
information you two are. :-)
My rosemary only grows to about 3 ft, but I suppose thats the drawbac
of an un-mediterranean climate as we have in Scotland! Hopefully i
Greece it will manage a few feet more.
Thyme will fit in very well with the gravel paths.
No doubt when I'm not in Greece my elderly neighbours will pop in an
'borrow' some herbs as they go about collecting their horta.
Horta are edible greens which some may consider to be weeds, ie
dandelion greens, nettles, poppy plants before they flower. Usuall
collected from nearby fields horta can be boiled, steamed, fried o
used raw in salads.
On my first visits to Greece I used to always wonder why all the wome
seemed to have bunches of 'weeds' in their hands, sometimes even large
bundles tied across their backs. It was not until later that I realise
that I had actually been eating the weeds!
There is an interesting article about hort
excellent. They look very nutritious. No wonder they have a longer life
expectancy than americans despite being not as rich. I myself used to
pick wild greens, though by now i have such a large garden I don't need
to except for mushrooms.
Some of the stuff I planted in the garden are perennial or reseeding
greens that used to be my wild pickings, things such as sorrel, fiddle
heads, mache, arugula and chicory, and of course I still eat the
dandelions and purslane that come up as weeds in the garden. All stuff
that comes up without doing any work, is early and late in the season,
and keeps you strong.
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