May 06, 2011

Kitchen Herbs

I've written several times about how nice it is to have fresh chives growing just outside the back doorstep.  We like other fresh herbs, too, and have come up with a plan to let them grow to their heart's content all summer and still allow us to enjoy them after fall's first frost.

We purchased  three inexpensive plastic flower boxes and loaded them up with our favorite herbs.  Here you can see parsley and two cilantro plants.

Here in the back you can see both Italian basil and Thai basil.  The front box has oregano, dill, and thyme.  We expect that the plants won't get super-big, because we'll be giving them continual hair cuts as we use the herbs for cooking.

We also have a medium sized flower pot that we've planted with rosemary.  A gardener I talked with says that rosemary likes to be kept very well-watered, so until the weather gets beastly hot I'm keeping the pot on our enclosed, windowed back porch so that I can see when it needs a drink of water.  And look!  Mom found me an owl cookie jar at a yard sale.  My great grandma had a cookie jar like this in her kitchen, and I've always wanted one.  Someone decided to use orange and brown paint on this one to replace the faded original red and black, but I don't mind.  I also keep the owl on the back porch, because it makes me smile everytime I come home from work and see him there in the corner.

As soon as I'm sure there won't be anymore frost, the window boxes will go outside for the summer.  So far they've made the trip outside and back twice as the weather changed! 

The container herb boxes are an experiment, but our hope is that we can continue to enjoy fresh, flavorful herbs into November and beyond.  We'll probably have to set up a grow-light for winter.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Jeffrey here.  This weekend I am planning (assuming weather cooperates) to plant our garden, but I've decided this year I'm going to plant my hot peppers in pots rather than in the garden, so we can enjoy them past the first frost.   Invariably, my pepper plants are still producing when the first frost hits, so this year, I'm going to take them inside when that time approaches, so we can enjoy fresh peppers into the winter, along with the herbs.


  1. Both Sue and I garden in pots and find it works great. Good luck with yours. I do envy you your Owl Cookie Jar. Our Mom had one just like it.

  2. Hi Myrna, I'm glad to know that the container herbs have a shot at a longer life span!

    That owl cookie jar design must have been very popular in its day. Mine is past its cookie-holding days- I'm guessing it may have been stored in a damp place for a long time. But it still makes me happy to see it.

  3. Anonymous11:35 AM CDT

    I saw a new plant this weekend and just have to tell you about it. It is a curry plant. It looks a little like a cross between a lavender and a rosemary, but smells exactly like curry when you brush the leaves. Given your love of Indian cuisine, I thought I would pass it along, so you can look around in your local green houses for one. I'd never seen one before, have you?

  4. That doesn't sound familiar. I'll have to look up what that is. Curries are made from a mix of several spices (hot peppers, cumin, coriander, mustard seed and turmeric are the cornerstones of Indian curries, for example), rather than just one. I'm curious what this curry plant is about.

    Thanks for the heads-up.