Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 - Year of Herbs

So this herb obsessed gardener was thrilled to discover that The National Garden Bureau has named 2012 the Year of Herbs  ~ we do have a Bureau for just about everything in the US don't we....ah well I approve of a Garden Bureau, in fact I wonder if they're hiring ;) ~

Every year the Garden Bureau (sorry picturing myself in a suite with a badge making housecalls to rescue plants, but I digress) names as flower, vegetable and perennial to be showcased. This year the flower is the geranium (a favorite of mine) and the perennial is Heuchera in case you were wondering

Follow the link for a beautiful slide show put together by "The Bureau" and the Herb Society of America that I wanted to share with everyone

2012 - Year of Herbs      <----- Click for slideshow

So in honor of 2012 being the Year of Herbs (and quiet frankly I'm obsessed with herbs) I'm going to "feature" one herb a month for the year. Give you what their culinary purposes are, some recipies, what they're medicinal qualities are (I will just be relaying the medicinal information from sources, I in NO WAY have any training in the use of herbs for medicinal purposes) and just other general information about growing and cultivating the herb.

I'll start January with one of my favorites, and one that is still growing in my yard right now, Rosemary! I'd love suggestions for other months, are their any herbs that are your favorite or you would be interested in learning about??

Well until next time - enjoy the slide show!

A few herbs at the Colonial Gardens
in Colonial Williamsburg taken New Years Day

Friday, January 6, 2012

It feels more like Spring than January! Garlic Planting?!?!

 2012! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year!!

The weather here in Southern VA has been so strange, I finished picking the habanero's and jalapeno's off my plants only 3 weeks ago.  So I have been cautious about putting the garlic into the ground.

I put some into containers in late October and they're already growing well

Siberian Garlic planted from stock I harvested this year

One New Years Eve it was 65 degrees (felt so wrong!) so I figured it was time to clear out the Summer garden and get some garlic in the ground before it was way too late (I am already a little behind the curve on this one I know)

I figured I'd share a photo collage of the garlic planting.

Because garlic will not be ready for harvest well after I want to get Spring planting done, I devoted the far left corner of my plot to this endeavor.  I decided 3 rows of 6 cloves each (2" apart) was a good start. Plus I have 9 cloves growing in plots

I went a little crazy ordering Garlic varieties this year (who can blame a girl, there are so many good ones out there)

Here is what I ended up planting in the garden

Row 1
    Cloves 1-4: Ajo Roja
    Clove 5-6:  Xian Turban

Row 2
     Cloves 1-3: Spanish Roja
     Cloves 4-6: Persian Start

Row 3:
      Cloves 1-2: Burgundy
      Cloves 3-4: Chesnok Red
      Cloves 5-6: Susanville

I also planted in pots:  Siberian (home grown stock), Oregon Blue and Red Toch

Preparing the cloves

After preparing the cloves (I LOVE the color of some of these cloves, they're just gorgeous!) I placed them in pre-made holes. I am hopeful, but I have never grown garlic in the ground before.....  Everything I planted this spring in the plot grew very very well. So I'm hoping for the same with my garlic 

Ajo Roja getting ready to be tucked in for a long winters nap