Flowering herbs in my garden | Summer by Ruth Ridley

Memories of Summer herbs

Now we are into November, and Autumn is truly upon us, I’m enjoying looking back at a Summer of flowers in my Sussex garden.

borders with herbs in my back garden
My back garden – bronze fennel, roses and geraniums, golden hop and self-seeded cerinthe.

The term ‘herb’ is pleasingly general

I look around my garden and see many plants which have been of use to previous generations. It’s lovely to find that plants I have grown for their decorative nature can also be put to good use in times of need. Saponaria used as a herbal detergent in my previous post is a good example.

Self-seeded herbs

borage herb hammock
Self-seeded borage herbs flowering in the veg plot of my summer garden. I often use it as a cucumbery addition to Pimms and fruit punch – I hear you can freeze it into ice cubes too – perfect for a G&T !
self seeded herbs
Marjoram self-seeded in the cracks on my patio – I hang the flowers in small bunches to dry for potpourri making. The borage in my veg patch produced a second generation this year and was joined by self-seeded evening primrose and geraniums.

Making herb tea

herbs growing in my garden mint
I grow mint in pots in my garden to stop it spreading. I make tea from the fresh leaves. When it starts flowering I cut it back to encourage new leafy growth. I do the same with my lemon balm although the flowers aren’t so eyecatching.
lavender herbs in pots
Mint is not the only herb I like to grow in pots. I grow three plants of lavender for tea in zinc florist buckets with holes drilled in the bottom. Of course lavender flowers can be dried and stored for use year round. If I remember rightly this variety is Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’.

My favourite roses and geraniums

I love making potpourri from flowers in my garden. Rose petals add fragrance and colour in shades of pink, while hardy geraniums are not particularly fragrant but do dry to pleasing shades of blue and purple. I used my favourite Rosa Mundi petals amongst others in my potpourri recipes for Herbs magazine September issue*.

roses geraniums
Clockwise from top left: Rosa mutabilis varies in shade between dark and light pink; Geranium palmatum is bigger with more decorative leaves than most species; Rosa mundi has a long history in this country, prettily striped flowers and a great fragrance; a bee visiting geranium x magnificum.

See what herbs were flowering in my garden in Spring

*Herbs is the journal of the Herb Society and is published quarterly. Download our membership leaflet top right of this page to find out about joining.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Ruth Ridley

 

5 Comments

  1. Reply November 4, 2014
    BrixHouseWife

    Such a beautiful garden!

    • Reply November 4, 2014
      Ruth at Herb Society

      Thanks! I’m afraid I spend more time in my hammock than gardening though, so there are lots of self-seeders and overgrown shrubs!

      • Reply November 5, 2014
        BrixHouseWife

        Lol!! Sounds like the life please tell me the names so I can buy some lol

  2. Reply November 9, 2014
    ilovemyplot

    I do look forward to your postings as well as being informative and with lovely photographs they help fill a gap between the quarterly herb journal – thank you

    • Reply November 9, 2014
      Ruth at Herb Society

      Thank you! It’s hard to know if people are interested, so I really appreciate you commenting! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

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