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Garden Giddy

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By Annie Miller | Jan 15, 2015

Yes, I said giddy! Because that is how excited I get when I think of spring, planting seeds and warm weather. Of course, we are a ways off from that, but the seed catalogs are coming in and we are starting to make our garden plans.

We bought our first home about a year and a half ago. Last spring was our first one here and we “started from scratch” with our gardens. Our previous homes were rentals, and we had limited options so having our own land to work and experiment with was a dream come true.

We actually live right next door to a local greenhouse and although the owner carries a wonderful variety of the herbs, I was looking for some that he didn’t carry. By the time I realized he wasn’t going to be getting those in, it was too late to order. So this year, I am getting ready early to place my seed orders.

I am particularly fond of herbs. Pine Tree Seeds has a super selection of the herbs that I am looking for. It is a company based out of Maine, my home state. I am sure there are many other great companies out there, too.

My list includes herbs such as comfrey, calendula and cutting celery. I use these herbs medicinally as well as for culinary purposes. I really don’t like the texture of raw celery although I do enjoy the flavor. The cutting celery looks somewhat like parsley and cilantro, but it has all the flavor of the vegetable without the crunch. It is great in soups, stews, and in your raw dishes and salads as well.

Chives are super easy to grow and divide well. One plant will turn into several quickly. They are chockful of vitamins and nutrients. You can make Chive Blossom Vinegar and eat the blossoms raw in your salads.

You can do the same with nasturtium blossoms. Nasturtiums also make a great addition to homemade tonics. This year I will try the climbing variety.

One thing I will not do again and that is to plant oregano in the ground. I did that once and it took over my herb garden. It went in a pot last year.

My husband has several varieties of mint that he likes to plant: apple, chocolate, meadow, peppermint and spearmint to name a few.

Lemongrass is always planted around our sitting areas to keep insects at bay as well as lemon balm (leaves are great steeped with mint for a bonus lemon flavor).

Speaking of lemon, I finally got a dwarf Meyer lemon tree; I have wanted one for a few years and my husband surprised me with one on my birthday last August. We brought it inside for the winter and it is producing lovely blooms. The blossoms have a sweet, floral fragrance. Lemons have become expensive in the stores and I am looking forward to harvesting my very own!

What are you getting Garden Giddy for? Let me know in the comments.

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