Tag Archive for: basil

I’m sure you all have been waiting with baited breath for the second installment of how to grow and dry your own herbs….I know I have 😉

Oregano, Basil, Sage, Purple Basil, Parsley and Thyme.

Clockwise from top left – Oregano, Basil, Sage, Purple Basil, Parsley and Thyme.

Last time we talked about how to harvest and dry your herbsThe process is so easy – the ‘air’ does most of the work for you.

Once your herbs are nice and dry, it’s time to get the herbs ready for their containers.

dry your herbs

Now, I will be the first to admit that dried herbs aren’t all that pretty.

dry your herbs

Even though they aren’t all that attractive at this point, they are full of concentrated flavors that will help you create delicious food.

I bought inexpensive glass jars at IKEA for a $1 each in which to store my dried herbs.


Now it is time to get the dried leaves off, without the stems.

dry your herbs

I found the easiest way to do this was to simply press the leaves between my fingers.  They came off easily, without too many stems falling in.

dry your herbs

The few stems that fell in, were easy to pick out.  I then used my fingers to grind up my herbs to the desired size…

dry your herbs

All there is to do at this point is to pour the herbs into my glass jars…

Jars of Oregano, Thyme and Oregano

Jars of Oregano, Thyme and Oregano

My homegrown dried herbs are ready to use right away.  They also make great gifts.

Dried herbs should be stored in a dark, dry place (pantry or cupboard) and taste best when used within 6 months.  


I hope your week is off to a good start.

I had two consults last week, which went very well.  In the summer, I don’t do too many consults because many people don’t want to spend a lot of time in the garden in the heat.  I actually enjoy this time of year because it is a bit of a break for me 🙂     

Believe it or not, it is time to plant certain kinds of vegetables right now.  

Yes, I realize that it is August and it is hot and the last thing you probably want to do is have to plant seeds out in your vegetable garden.  

But, just keep telling yourself that by working a little bit now, you will reap the rewards of fresh vegetables in just a few months when the temperatures are cooler.

So what seeds can you plant now?  Here are some of my favorites….

fresh vegetables

Sweet Corn…

Yes, we can grow two crops of corn here in the desert – once in spring and in the fall.  Aren’t we lucky?



Mine are still going strong from the spring.  Mostly due to the shade cloth.  I am still getting cucumbers.  It is amazing what a difference shade cloth makes 🙂

fresh vegetables

Fresh vegetables, Leaf Lettuce…

I think this is my favorite vegetable.  I love going out in the garden with scissors and clipping our dinner salad.


There are also other vegetables that you can plant now from seed and they include:

Basil (okay, this is a herb, but I do grow it in my vegetable garden)



Green Snap Beans

Head Lettuce


Summer Squash

It’s important to remember to start these from seed when planting this time of year.  However, if you prefer using transplants, you will need to wait until fall to plant.

So, do you have any plans for planting vegetables soon?

I would love to hear what you will be growing 🙂

WInter and Summer Vegetables….Oh My!

Because I love plants and blogging, I am constantly taking pictures.  As a result, I have quite a lot of photos to go through and it can be a week or two (okay sometimes a few months), before I get to them.

Well, since it has been rather cold outside and I haven’t had to do much of anything in my garden, I decided to be productive and go through some of my photos that I had taken in the fall.

I was contacted by a former co-worker who asked me to do a consult of his mother’s garden.  When he gave me her address, I was thrilled that she lived only 5 minutes away from my house.  

His mother was quite a delightful person and was a native of France.  Her garden reflected her European roots.  She had many different types of plants focusing mainly on plants native to Europe. 

As I was leaving, I passed by a large Willow tree and underneath it’s canopy, I spotted a glimpse of an assortment of potted plants.

Hospital for Plants

As I looked more closely, I could see that many of these plants had seen better days.  In fact, it was a very motley group of plants.

Hospital for Plants

Hospital for Plants

Her son, seeing my questioning glance, explained that his mother had a huge soft spot for struggling and sometimes dying plants.

She would often peruse the discount sections of nurseries (including some big box stores) where sickly plants would be for sale.  She would then take them home where she worked hard to nurse them back to health.

The filtered shade from the willow tree provided protection from the sun and the wind, which was the perfect micro-climate for these plants to try to recuperate.

Although she had some failures, she did have quite a few successes.

Hospital for Plants

 The basil plant above did so well that it’s roots had grown into the grass underneath.

Seeing this plant hospital got me to thinking…..do any of you like to rescue plants?  What type of ‘hospital’ do you have for them?

I would love to hear your stories 🙂

Steps Towards Curing the Garden Blahs….Where to Place Plants?