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Post by Sonshine on Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:56 pm

Choose Your View
As a starting point, choose your view, lucky you. Judging from the photos you sent, you’ve got breathtaking scenery in many directions, but look at it from the vantage point of the area where you’ll likely spend most of your time. With dramatic rocky mounds in the distance, look to the outer edge of your property in that direction and put the beginnings of your garden there. Think of big swaths of herbs and flowers in the middle distance, all drought-tolerant perennials and reseeding annuals, their colors and textures weaving and drifting seemingly in the random, happy abandonment of nature itself.

Choose Your Plants
To transform this into a landscape that will yield a bounty of harvest materials for a wide variety of herbal products, choose your plants in anticipation of your needs; not knowing where your interests lie, I chose a dozen hardy, drought-tolerant herbs I’ve found useful in a variety of ways, from harvests for medicinal tonics and teas, to the raw material of wreaths, potpourri and other fragrant crafts, dried arrangements, and herbal bath products. You have many plant choices and the space to experiment.

If you’re a hardy English lavender fan, buy or propagate flats of them and plant them together in drifts for more visual impact. You can be bold and try some useful herbs that are too aggressive for smaller backyards, such as Silver King artemisia, lemon balm, yarrow or whatever other aggressive herbs are on your wish list. Plant them together and let them fight it out for space; take a shovel to a clump’s perimeter to keep it in bounds if it’s too rambunctious or claiming too much space. Choose tough, hardy old roses, which can become beautiful, big mounds in the herbal landscape.

Choose Your Pace
And choose your pace. Start as big or as small as your time, ambition, budget and business plan allow. Plant one or two starts of different varieties, be patient and let them multiply on their own over time; or plant in bigger sizes and larger quantities if you’re looking for a faster start or bigger crop. Starting small, with perhaps just the plants you know you’ll use, allows you to expand the garden as you expand your herbal interests. If you have a vision for a finished garden, you can take however long you want to get there. Many of the herbs on the list can be grown from seed, which is inexpensive but takes longer. It’s a fair trade-off: A little more effort and time for more plants at a much lower price

Please follow the link for the rest of the article.

He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]

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