Our Herb Bed
We love herbs both for cooking and for the insects they attract but we have had problems getting our herb bed how we want it. We now think we have finally got it sorted - after 9 years!
Our original herb bed was at the end of the polytunnel but with the way we fenced off the fields it actually meant it was about the furthest point from the kitchen and simply not convenient to mosey out for a spring of marjoram.
Herb bed 2 was relocated by the barn and play area and initially thrived ... and was close enough for us and our guests to pop out for parsley as needed. All was well with most herbs but we found Rosemary and Lavender did not survive. No worries - we replanted them and Simon wove a small hazel fence along one side to protect against the cold North Wind. The Rosemary still did not thrive but I had some cuttings I had taken so we planted a new Rosemary by the bakery and another by the gite front door. Both these spots are very sheltered and both the plants are thriving.
The herb bed was built on 2 levels with mint in the lower one in an attempt to stop this rampant plant careering through the whole bed. It didn't work! Soon we found mint popping up everywhere as well as what must have been the only area of couch grass at Eco-Gites of Lenault! Soon our lovely herb bed was a mess with more weeds than chives, oregano or sage.
Drastic action was needed and it involved a digger!
- Simon dug out the whole bed, rescuing what herbs he could and chucking the rest to the pigs*.
- The soil was then dug over and errant mint and couch grass runners removed.
- Weed suppressing landscape fabric was laid and secured with pegs and some nice lumps of rock we had found.
- New herbs were bought and planted through slits in the fabric.
- A top layer of decorative gravel and stones was added.
- Oh and mint was replanted in some concrete drain "things" which had hanging around the place. These were sunk into the ground and the mints planted inside them which will hopefully stop them taking over the bed again.
*The pigs didn't eat all the mint which is now growing in the pig pen - no worries as it smells lovely as I brush past.
We still need to make a new woven hazel fence and we will do that when the leaves have fallen from the hazels in our hedges. In the meantime I hope you will agree that our herb bed so far is both pretty and functional.
Do you have a favourite herb to cook with? I love Rosemary on roast potatoes and sage with any pork dish. Oh and mint in this beetroot salad is divine.
Linking this post with How Does Your Garden Grow over at Mammasaurus.