Farmgirl Gardening Series-Week 3 (Herbs and Roses)

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I see you!  Don’t you dare plant those tomatoes yet!  For every person in Colorado that plants their tomatoes near Mother’s Day we get a snowstorm.  Don’t jinx us all.

Now what can you plant this week?  Herbs.  Hardy ones.  Basil has to wait but most herbs are sturdy and anxious to grow making right now a fine time to stick them in the ground snuggled in straw.  The best collection of medicinal herbs that I know of is at Tagawa Gardens on Parker Road and Broncos Parkway.  That is our first stop.

The fine folks at Tagawa will not divulge what various herbs do medicinally.  Liability, they say. But armed with your herb books from the library you can make a fine wish list.  I picked up lobelia for asthma, valerian for sleep and pain, sage for hot flashes, thyme for lungs and cooking, lemon balm and mint for digestion, oregano for cooking and colds, catnip for a million things, angelica for hormones, dill for pickles, chamomile for heartburn, cilantro…yum, no explanation necessary, and roses.  I picked up chives and basil and lavender too.  And roses.  My goodness I love roses.

Back at the garden I decided where I wanted the herb garden.  I would like an arbor and small café table and chairs in front of it (as soon as I get the cash…).  The roses will frame the space.  Roses are medicinal as well.  The petals make delicious tea and are good for heartbreak and the nervous system.  I planted herb seeds as well, California poppies for nerve pain, calendula for skin conditions, and purple coneflower, better known as Echinacea, for everything from cancer to wounds.

Let’s make this easy.  Dig a hole, place rose or herb in, fill with organic garden soil, water, top with straw.  No need to till.

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I planted one tall herb, one short and spready, one tall, one short and spready, until I got to the other side where the climbing rose will magically cascade over the arbor (in one season?  Hey, why not?  A girl can dream.), my saved heirloom morning glories will be planted on the other side.

Such a surprising little corner this section will be amongst the rows of beautiful food crops.  I will have herbs to snip for making medicine and for cooking and a magnet for honey bees, butterflies, and birds.  They will pollinate the crops and bring joy to the garden.

I also planted a few bare root, just starting to leaf, roses in big pots on the porch.  The herbs that are too, too crazy, like nettles and catnip, are going in pots on the porch as well to keep them in check.

Don’t forget to water every single day unless it rains or snows.  The seeds we planted last week need to stay constantly hydrated in order to germinate.  Have fun planting this week, Friends, and we’ll see you in the garden!

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