New Herb Garden

Well, the Understory Garden (which I think is really just an herb garden, honestly) is completed! It's taken months to get this project done, from sheet-mulching the weedy grass in this area, to building raised beds, to getting soil delivered, to shoveling and planting and voila!

Ok, let me tell you what you're seeing, because everything is so little and it's going to take a while to fill in. (Gosh, if nothing else, gardening sure teaches you how to be patient!) In the center of the large bed is an Asian Pear (Hosui), it's just a stick at this point. The bushy things are rosemary, which I have elsewhere too but really can't get enough of. All along the paving stones (which I painted, I know they are bright! but they will fade), I planted two each of six different lavenders. These particular lavenders apparently do well in extreme heat and will get to be about 2x2 ft each. On the right side of the pear I planted two rhubarb crowns, and on the left side, two lemon verbenas. Then, filling in, are four groups of each of these herbs: Chives, Thyme, French Thyme, Sage, Parsley, Oregano, Marjoram, and Savory. I started these inside and they've been ready to transplant for weeks, I'm glad to get them in the ground. In two of the little beds I planted seedlings and seeds of dill; in the other two beds, the same of cilantro. I'm hoping to get a nice crop and maybe even some seeds from these before it's time to plant basil. I have four different kinds of basil to put in those little beds in the summer. Oh and around the pear I scattered some marigold seeds. 

So basically it's a glorified herb garden, but I'm glad to have a safe, inside-the-fence place for all those herbs that we use so often. These blooming things will help the bees, too, and I already saw one bee checking out the rosemary, though it has no blooms on it at the moment.

In the background you can see how the winter veg is coming on - peas and broccoli are going great guns, as are greens of all types. The cabbage (which you can't see, it's to the right of the shed behind the broccoli) isn't doing so well, and I had a 'meh' year for spinach. In the pollinator garden, seeds are just coming up, but you can see the Western Redbud in full bloom.

The other vegetable garden is doing quite well, with carrots, beets, and turnips being harvested frequently, and garlic, shallots, and potatoes growing up up up.

We opened the hive today and there are now TWO clusters of brood. So our little colony is growing. I'm so proud that they survived the winter and all the weird invasive things and they are coming back strong! It'll take them a while to get back to the full colony that they were last summer. All the new blooming flowers around the neighborhood are helping immensely. 

One more interesting thing to show you. When I went to shovel dirt in to the new beds, I found this:

This tiny mushroom was about the size of my pinkie fingertip, and there were hundreds, many even smaller, all over the dirt pile that's been sitting in the driveway since I had it delivered two weeks ago. I'd had it covered with a tarp during the recent rains, and it's like a thousand mushroom spores germinated under there. Beautiful! The pile was also chock full of worms, a good sign indeed.

Hope you're having a wonderful Saturday!