My Herb Walkabout (Journey)

Another summer will be winding down soon. A few mornings this week I could even smell fall in the air. Although every season has its rewards, I can't help but stop and think about time passing as I start rummaging around for envelopes to store seeds in.

I've been growing herbs for decades. It's funny, because in some ways they've become so familiar that I take them for granted - the chives on our baked potatoes, the flat leaf parsley on our bean casserole, the jar of dried catnip for our feline friends, the lavender flowers for sachets, the lemon balm for tea, the fresh chopped oregano for pizza . . . the list goes on and on. It's taken a while to ramp up to a life filled with herbs, though.

When I started out, I wasn't very crafty. I worked long hours and probably considered simple country crafts and certainly gardening as something I'd never have the time or energy to do with any regularity or dedication. I never really liked getting dirty, either - well, shame on me, huh.

If someone had explained to me that one day there'd be a list of dozens (if not hundreds) of projects I'd completed successfully, I might have even been slightly horrified. There's a big difference between buying a jar of an enticing herb blend and growing, drying and bottling it yourself. For the first, you need the discretionary income, desire and a little time to shop. (But there's a thrill involved in even this limited emotional investment -- don't get me wrong. It's a small introduction to the secret and mysterious world of brews, arcane recipes and power - womanly power.)

For the second, the actual cultivating part, you need to understand how plants grow and what wizardry they can (and can't) perform for you. You also need to be willing to get dirty, do battle with bugs over your small plot (or pot), and watch the skies for weather warnings. You need to know where the seeds are and how get at them. You invariably get elbow deep in soil, compost, mulch, leaves and grass, whether you want to or not. You also get inundated with the exotic aromas of luscious, green growing things. I brush my lavender bushes all the time in my travels around our landscape, and the spearmint trails out into the driveway every summer where I encounter it as I head off to get the mail.

In the years I've kept herbs, I've learned my lessons one at a time, through successes and a whole lot of failures. Someone -- I can't remember who -- said you can't really know a plant unless you've killed it at least three times. I've met that challenge and surpassed it.

I'm a living example of how little herbs can teach big lessons. From a casual shopper dabbling in herb lore and crafts, I've become a decent gardener and cook. I'm more connected to the soil and more available to ideas about food and planet friendly practices than I would have been otherwise, I think, which is one of the reasons my story is important.

One potted herb can start you on a most amazing journey if you let it; I know. Herbs really are magical. If you've come to my blog for information about growing, cooking, crafting or healing with herbs, I hope you find some useful and entertaining information here. I've certainly been entertained and enriched by my curious investigations into the workings of these amazing little plants.


  1. I'm a relative herb newbie. I have gotten so much helpful information from this blog. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for visiting Olga. You're always welcome. A little later in the month I'll be making herb wreaths for autumn, so stay tuned.


  3. Just found your blog and am a bit of a novice when it comes to growing Nd cultivating, but the bug has bitten me and will pop in here often.


  4. Electricwitch,

    Welcome. Fall is on its way, so if you're planning on growing some herbs indoors, take a moment to read my post about herb houseplants:

  5. Anonymous8:57:00 AM

    I am in my second year but still struggling with the overwhelming number of herbs and ways to grow them. How do I know which ones to choose? I would love a "newbie" section.

    Your upcoming post about a fall wreath sounds perfect!

    This is by far the best herb site I have ever seen! I visit often and read all your newsletter posts. I have used many of the ideas and recipes. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge in such a fun way!

  6. Thank you!

    Watch the sidebar on the left. In the next couple of weeks I'll add a newbie section, round up some likely content and start posting some new stuff on beginning in the hobby over the long, cold winter.

    Again, many thanks.


  7. I too have just found your blog and I really like it. I have a few herbs and decided to dry some for Herbes de Provence which I learned to love in the south of France. I found your receipe and am now busy drying herbes. Thanks so much. I will be following your blog.
    Cindy from Wyoming

  8. Hey Cindy,

    Welcome! Making my own herb blends has always been very satisfying and fun. They also make great Christmas gifts.



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