This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Making an Herb Box

I've been wanting to increase my use of herbs and have decided to locate a range of herbs near the kitchen using a newly constructed herb box. Suppose this will be a bit of an experiment as I've not too much experience of growing herbs. I will have to see if there is enough sun and if the plants like the location. The box currently contains a topiary style French lavender, 6 chive plants, 2 types of thyme, marjoram, and 3 types of oregano. 
The herb box includes a well established thyme (far left),  'Country' Oregano which came from a local garden centre, and at the back - chives that are coming into flower (these have been divided from plants in another area of the garden and added to the herb box).
Bought from the local garden centre at a cost of 4 plants for £5 (about $8 US dollars):
Marjoram - I'm not sure how to use this, but will have to learn.
'Hot' oregano smells great with a strong spicy smell. 
The French Lavender topiary was the most expensive plant at £12.99 (about $21 US dollars). I've used purple slate stone as a mulch as I had some spare sitting around.

The herb box is approx 15 inches (width) by 45 inches (length). The wood is decking wood which cost approx £20 to purchase (about $33 Us dollars) and as the labour was free it works out pretty good value for money. Just hope I can manage to keep the plants alive!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter greetings...

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Herb Challenge

My perception of herbs is that they're fussy plants... not sure if that's true. This year I'm determined to expand my range of herbs in the garden.

A couple of weeks ago I bought 3 plants for £5 (a bargain!). Pictured left: two types of thyme and the bright green one is oregano. The thyme are outside waiting to be planted - a new herb box is a work in progress. And the oregano sits inside on the kitchen windowsill. The problem is - what was a lush oregano plant has been taken over by mildew!
So, I decided to cut back the plant. As you can see new growth is coming very quickly, but the powdery mildew is also coming back. Click to enlarge photo to see.
Who would ever think Oregano would have powdery mildew problems? (I assume this is what it is).

I think tomorrow I will try spraying the plant with milk. I've read using diluted milk approx 10-20% milk  mixed with water should help the situation. Fingers crossed!
Otherwise, I may have to throw it out!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.