Challenges abound in the garden, and this season my herb circle stands out. I let the thyme and oregano and sage go, and they went everywhere, overwhelming the space reserved for my annual cooking herbs.
I decided to live and let live with a lily and some ornamental alliums that popped up, but the daffodils I put in a few years ago had to go. The winter did in my rosemary, and the chives were in need of cutting back.
But like Dudley Do-Right saving the damsel in distress just in the nick of time, along came the Lowe's $100 Challenge, which provides each regional blogger with a gift card to finance a garden project. Mine was simple -- the taming of the herb circle in the center of the flower/vegetable garden that highlights my front yard.
My first concern was the wooden obelisk in the middle of the herbs. Traditionally I festoon it with morning glories -- this year I craved change. I wanted color and I wanted it now. Besides, the obelisk is a focal point.
I couldn't resist the gorgeous pink mandevilla I spotted the minute I arrived at Lowe's garden department.
Mandevilla is rooted in my past -- it was my oncologist's favorite flower, and when I fought breast cancer 14 years ago, it helped turn our doctor-patient relationship into friendship. And the tropical vine would not only garland the obelisk with blooms, it also would look lovely among the herbs.
I bought three pots of parsley, three pots of basil, one pot of cilantro, a rosemary plant and -- for something different -- some vining vegetables for the still-empty spaces on the obelisk: pickling cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and straight-neck squash.
I spent $93.29.
Lowe's Materials List:
- Cherry tomato
- Basil (3)
- Parsley (3)
- Cilantro (1)
- Rosemary (1)
I'm still debating buying bee balm, which would bump me up to just over $100.
All that was left was to dig out the daffodils, move some of the oregano and thyme to the outer edges of the circle and plant my purchases -- all of them in plantable biodegradable pots and all of them sun-lovers that dig rich, well-drained soil. For just about $100, I have it all -- flowers, fragrance and flavor.
And of course parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. And basil too. Here's the final result.