There are exciting developments on the smallholding front as the sale of the land we are buying winds it's way to completion and a dream that has been alive for five years begins to become a reality. Now the hard work begins! We will spend the next 12-18 months preparing and applying for planning, etc. so it's time to get stuck into what we want to do.
In February my mind naturally begins to think about getting my seeds started off and I'm looking forward to having a lot more space for a proper medicinal herb garden as well as a culinary and dyers garden. A couple of years ago when we were renting somewhere we were promised we could safely call home for a few years, I planted a dyers garden, only to be told after 5 months they wanted the house back. The plants didn't really survive being dug up and moved and to be honest, my mental health took such a beating it was hard to look after them properly. Plus it was late November and hard to keep anything alive. So I'm thinking about starting some plants off now that will soon move to their forever home.
I started off thinking about all the different types of herb gardens there are:
There are so many crossovers and overlaps, for example lavender could be in every category so I decided to focus on four: Culinary, Medicinal, Dye Plants and Flowers.
I then started to think about the questions and considerations I needed to research. It was about now that I realised this wasn't exactly a quick task I could achieve in a weekend (which is how most of my ideas and projects go) but something which will develop and grow over time, possibly a lifetime.
What I have done so far is some research into what I am interested in growing and what might go into the four sections. This may seem like a lot, but the plan is that this will help provide an income for us to live viably off the land by providing herbs for cosmetics, teas and tisanes, food for the bees, herb blends, seeds to sell, natural dyes for our wool, etc. Some of these plants I already grow and forage and some require a lot more research.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme (my favourite herb so many varieties), mint (multiple varieties), coriander, tarragon, summer savory, winter savory, dill, fennel, basil, chives, wild garlic (we have this in the wood already), alliums, angelica, chervil, parsley, marjoram, oregano, purslane, celery leaf, red orach. borage, mustard seeds, caraway, horseradish, saffron, rocket, curry plant, juniper, bay, lovage, sweet cicely, sorrel, salad burnett, alexanders, nasturtium
Yarrow (probably growing somewhere onsite), agrimony, ladies mantle, marsh mallow, musk mallow, columbine, wormwood, old lady, French tarragon, mugwort (wild somewhere?) costmary, calamint, pot marigold, centaury, roman chamomile, german chamomile, blessed thistle, white ditany, echinacea, wood avens, hyssop, St John's Wort, white horehound, lemon balm, lavender, motherwort, fleabane, lungwort, soloman's seal, jacob's ladder, rue, soapwort, milk thistle, betony, comfrey, feverfew, valerian, mullein, vervain
Deadly/poisonous plants - I have designed the layout with a gate for this area so my nephews or visiting children don't eat the deadly plants.
Aquilegia, arnica, deadly nightshade, foxglove - I'm sure more need to move into this section so more work needs to be done here.
Flowers - this section will be near the bees - for picking, medicinal, culinary and craft
Clove carnation, teasel, lavender, primrose, cowslip, melilot, peony, poppy, violets, pansy
Alkanet, dyers chamomile, safflower, coreopsis, dyers woodruff, dyers greenweed, goldenseal, woad, weld, madder, gorse
We are yet to do a proper survey of the land so I am hoping to find some of these plants already growing and I cannot wait to start identifying what is already there.
So we have loads more work to do but I've had a go at drawing out what the herb garden could look like:
We would love you to come on this exciting journey with us. 💚
Available in the shop now - The Witches Garden Seed Set containing Feverfew, Mullein, Skullcap, Fleabane, St John's Wort, Betony, Hyssop, Chamomile, Musk Mallow and Agrimony.
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