Container brigade

As I mentioned yesterday, we added basil, parsley and lavender to the garden, but they’re containerized, due to space considerations.

Lovely lavender

The lavender was a purely frivolous purchase. I love the stuff, but am never quite sure what to do with it. Dry the flowers? Chop up the leaves to use in cooking? Just stick my nose in it from time to time for pure enjoyment? I would love some suggestions from the herby crowd. In the meantime, it’s beautiful, regardless.

Container garden, May 21The container garden has become more substantial with these additions, and now we have a stationary garden and a mobile garden. You’ll notice that the sage looks a little unbalanced due to off-center planting, but that’s more due to my poor planning than anything else. I originally planted the mint and the sage in the same oblong green pot, even though I’d heard all the warnings about how mint bolts. Sage is tough, I thought, and it will stand up to the onslaught of minty roots.

I should have known better. When we put the three cherry tomato plants in the garden, it left their reddish pot open for a mint relocation. I carefully dug around the mint plant, loosening it slowly, trying very hard not to tear any of the roots. I was amazed, as I pulled it up, how much the roots had spread in just three weeks—they had become a tremendous root ball, and it was clear that if I ever hoped for a decent crop of sage, I was moving the mint just in time.

The other member of the container garden brigade is a pot that holds an odd conglomeration of tropical, viney plants. Steve nursed this plant indoors over the winter, and it seems to thrive, even though it’s quite obviously root-bound. We’ll see how it does out in the sun with the rest of the pots.

This post is part of Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn’s Kitchen. Please be sure to check out the other entries!

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15 Responses to “Container brigade”


  1. 1 Valbee June 1, 2006 at 10:53 am

    I was outside in my flower beds over the hot, humid Memorial Day weekend, engaging in my annual battle with the mint that my home’s previous owner planted in one little corner of the yard. That stuff doesn’t just bolt – it catapults itself across the lawn! :) I wouldn’t mind growing some in a container someday, but right now I despise it. I’m trying to find a way to kill it that won’t hurt the perennials I have growing in the beds. Argh.

    BTW, I love reading your blog. Up until I moved into my house, I had no real lawn and garden experience. I just might be inspired to try a vegetable garden myself next year. :)

  2. 2 Lisa June 1, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    I containerized all my herbs, too – – because by the time I got all the veggies in the garden.. there was just no more room! :)

    Though, I like having the herbs in containers.. that way, I can keep them closer to the house where I can step outside and snip what I need real easy.

    I’m enjoying your blog quite a lot! Thanks!

  3. 3 inadvertentgardener June 1, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    Valbee, your experience is why I decided to leave the mint potted. Judging by how it’s exploding, even in its little pot, I think it was a good idea! Thanks for the sweet comments and for stopping by — enjoy, and please come back any time!

    Lisa, we’re running into that same issue with space, although I don’t want to scoop myself on that story…you’ll have to come back for more. I agree, though — being able to just step out and snip something to add to dinner is lovely. I don’t know why I waited this long! Thanks for stopping by!

    :-) Genie

  4. 4 Petunia's Gardener June 1, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    Lavender is good just for pure enjoyment! The bees love it too. I’ve had lavender shortbread cookies & I think I’ve seen it in other baked goods. How about rosemary & thyme? Chives are great too, pretty plants & ediable flowers. Herbs can fill up a pot with roots easily so if they seem a little stressed later on, check to see the roots are too crowded. I buried a large pot in the garden (with the top edges above ground) and planted the mint in it. I often pinch off some new growth to put in the salad (refreshing). In a few days I’ll be posting a picture with the sage in bloom. Happy gardening!

  5. 5 steven June 2, 2006 at 9:49 am

    Lavander Gelato! Big, big seller on the Ligurian coast.

  6. 6 inadvertentgardener June 4, 2006 at 10:23 am

    I’ve tried lavender shortbread — very tasty! Lavender gelato, though…yum! Might have to try that.

    PG, I’m looking forward to seeing your blooming sage!

    Genie

  7. 7 ejm June 5, 2006 at 7:35 am

    It’s my understanding that lavendar blossoms are often dried and put into the French herb mixture called “herbes de Provence” The other herbs in the mixture may include (also dried) basil, marjoram, chervil, tarragon, thyme, summer savory, rosemary, mint, oregano, bay leaf.

    I have lavender in a large pot as well and was having a devil of a time overwintering it. It should be hardy here but two severe winters killed two plants. Last winter, I plunged the pot into the ground and the lavender is doing fabulously. I’m still waiting for blossoms though….

    -Elizabeth, in Toronto

    P.S. Watch those cherry tomato plants! They grow to be very tall! One year, I put them beside our basil and by mid July, had to rip the tomato plants out and put them into our compost pile because they were overshadowing the much more important basil. (The next year, I many had volunteer cherry tomato plants that came up wherever I had put compost…)

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener June 8, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    Elizabeth,

    I’ve heard that, too, about the blossoms. I should check out that recipe.

    As far as the cherry tomato plants go, I’d actually be OK with their going nuts on us — they’re far enough from the basil that I think they’ll be OK. The zucchini plant, though, is still getting more monstrous by the day, and it’s starting to encroach on one of the eggplants…we’ll see who wins the fight.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    :-) Genie

  9. 9 Andrew July 9, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    Lavender makes a very tastey jelly too. I forget the actual recipe for it but its online and I think I may use honey instead of so much sugar next time.

  10. 10 inadvertentgardener July 9, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Yum, Andrew. I’ll check that out. I made lavender shortbread yesterday, and it was delicious, but I think I was too spare with the herb, unfortunately. Still, I love the taste of it in food.

  11. 11 Garden Man April 26, 2007 at 11:53 am

    I see your using container gardening in some of those pics. In my opinion container gardening is the best way to go.

  12. 12 inadvertentgardener April 26, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    Garden Man, I plan to use lots of containers again this year, as well as our little garden plot. I’m a big fan of containers, too.


  1. 1 The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on June 5, 2006 at 5:38 am
  2. 2 inadvertentgardener Trackback on July 2, 2006 at 2:51 pm
  3. 3 The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on September 19, 2006 at 9:57 pm

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