This month, Beverly Welch is joined by Ann Wheeler of Log House Herbs. They discussed planting any time of the year and using herbs in your landscape.
– [Beverly] Welcome to the
Arbor Gate. I’m Beverly Welch,
here today with my dear friend Ann Wheeler
of Loghouse Herbs. It is the dog days of
summer here on the Gulf Coast, but we
want to make sure that you understand,
we can plant any time. So we decided to
put together this gorgeous garden.
– [Ann] Beautiful.
– Low maintenance, insect
resistant, deer resistant, drought
torrent once established,
just a beautiful garden.
And these are all…yes,
these are all herbs.
– Every single one of them.
– And we want you to understand
that not all herbs have to be
culinary. An herb is just a useful
plant, so it may be medicinal,
it may be aromatic,
and it may be culinary.
– That’s absolutely right.
And those properties can be found
throughout this garden,
in every single plant.
– And we have more
fun putting it together.
– Putting it together, yes.
– We wanted to point out a few
plants that you may be overlooking,
but qualify in your herb garden
and in your landscape in general.
– And each one of them that we’re
going to talk about specifically today
has a special role to play.
– It does.
– One way or another.
– So we’re going to pick out just
a few of our favorites along the way.
– So would you like to get started now?
– I certainly would. That’s a beautiful
one, and I love it because A,
it is an oregano, which means it’s
really especially easy to grow.
It fills some space in the garden, and
it really is colorful. This is its color,
this golden green. Stunning.
– Stunning as is and great in containers.
– Great for the containers,
spilling over the edge.
– I love the artemisias. They
are going to offer fragrance,
but what beautiful texture and foliage
color that they add. They make anything
bright and light, like this gorgeous
Echinacea right up against this silver
foliage. So this is one of my favorites.
– Yes, it’s a beautiful contrast to the
color, and it also fills space.
– It does. Another often overlooked
gem is the Mexican oregano.
It almost makes, here on the Gulf
Coast, a semi evergreen shrub,
depending on our winter. It blooms all
summer. It’s a great mounder,
three to four feet tall and wide,
and a great pollinating plant.
The hummingbirds, the butterflies, love
these beautiful lavender blooms.
– The shrub, once it makes the shrub
form, will be covered with these
sweet little lavender blooms.
– Right. Beautiful in a cottage garden.
– Beautiful. Another one that is often
overlooked in the herb house is the
cat mint, and you don’t have
to have a cat to grow it.
– Cat mint is a very traditional
plant in an English cottage
garden, and it is not, in fact, cat nip.
It is a whole different name,
horticulturally speaking. And it’s a
beautiful, soft, gray green color.
Once again with lavender flowers
that attract pollinators. In fact,
almost all of these attract
a lot of pollinators.
– And beneficial insects as well.
– And you know what people miss
by not using these aromatic plants in
their garden are the fragrances. When
you’re out in the garden, you’re working,
you rub up against them, even when you
get a nice breeze in the summer, it’s so
refreshing, it’s so nice in the evenings
to walk out and just smell.
– Smell the air.
– And a little sprinkle of
rain brings that aroma to the front.
– Right. One of my favorites is the
tagetes, the Mexican marigold,
that anise fragrance. It’s a
great tarragon substitute,
but a brilliant, brilliant
perennial on the Gulf Coast.
– And in the fall, it’s
covered with yellow flowers,
just masses of them. So it is
an amazing floral…
– It is.
– …contributor as well.
And same with this one.
– Yes. And it is, again, the fragrance,
great repellents for our deer.
– Yeah. And Copper Canyon
Daisy is the name of this one,
and it’s extremely aromatic.
– It is. And I know some of your
favorites are the thymes.
– Absolutely. This is one of
my very favorites. For one thing,
the silver thyme is a good culinary thyme,
but also it is has this upright habit that
makes it so easy to harvest for the
kitchen. An a spot of silver in the
garden never goes wrong.
– No, never.
– Well, you know, oftentimes,
and we keep mentioning,
a lot of these guys are evergreen. This is
a myrtus communis, or a true myrtle.
Not to be confused with wax myrtle.
This, again, makes a nice compact
shrub, three to four feet tall
and wide. The foliage is very aromatic,
actually culinary. And it gets covered
during the summer with this sweet,
white flower that is itself aromatic.
– And I believe, correct me
if I’m wrong, but the flowers are
traditionally used in bridal bouquets.
– It’s true. That’s true.
– So if there’s a
wedding in your future…
– That’s always a good one to have. And
a lot of these, too, we haven’t mentioned,
we keep talking about the sun, but a lot
of these are quite appropriate in what we
call high shade, bright shade, part shade.
I know the oreganos function very well.
– And the rosemary…
– And the rosemary as well.
– We haven’t talked about rosemary
today, but the rosemary’s quite
happy in partial or high shade. And
especially in the summer afternoons in
this part of Texas.
– Oh, we all appreciate a
little afternoon shade.
– A little afternoon shade.
– And so, getting more to
a little bit of a shadier garden,
you can’t go wrong with lemon balm or lime
balm. And I love the southernwood. And
people, again, often overlook this
wonderful texture, this citrus type
fragrance, but what a great
addition to a fern garden.
– Absolutely. And also, they
go very well in a planting of azaleas.
– Oh, nice.
– So that’s kind of a traditional
use of southernwood.
– Absolutely. And another
one is the chile piquin,
and this variegated chile pequin
absolutely has to have some
afternoon shade. So you’ve got your
peppers, your bloom, and the birds love it
even if you’re not a fan of hot peppers.
But this is a great addition.
– It’s a beautiful shape. It’s a
beautiful, thick, shrubby look.
– It is. It is nice.
– This is one that appeals
to many people at the moment,
who are learning to do Asian cooking.
Although it’s a beautiful landscape plant,
it’s a ground cover for shade, it’s
called Vietnamese Coriander.
And so it melds the culinary with the
landscaping qualities that we look for.
It will spread itself about in a shady
area, and it likes moisture so you could
plant this where your lawn sprinkler hits.
– Exactly. And you know, we
can’t…we’re not successful with
cilantro during the summer…
– …here on the Gulf Coast,
so this is your substitute.
You’ve got that cilantro flavor
with a slight citrus undertone.
– And it’s a real find for us.
– It is find. So, any
other favorites that, you know,
we went right past the lemon verbena.
– The lemon verbena is
incredible to brush against.
– It is. It makes a wonderful tea.
– Because of the wonderful scent,
wonderful tea. Of course, we always
talk about rosemary, but we just want to
point out that that’s a part of this herb
garden, and it’s…we have it positioned
down here at the somewhat shaded end.
– Yes, we do. Yes, we do.
– Interestingly enough.
– So this is beautiful, Ann.
– I think it is, too. We
need to get to work.
– Let’s go.