Dry Herb Gardens
One of the biggest joys of gardening is the opportunity to grow edible plants. By planting an herb garden right outside your back door, you always have the freshest herbs right at your fingertips. And what dish wouldn’t taste better with a little magic from your own garden?
But if you live in a dry climate, perhaps you’ve thought herb gardening is not for you. Too much work, right? That’s doesn’t have to be the case. There are many varieties of herbs that will not only survive but thrive in an arid climate, with just a little bit of work from you. Here are some excellent choices of herbs for your dry herb garden.
The mint family
Mint and its close cousins are one of the best choices for your dry herb garden. There are several varieties of mint including peppermint, Moroccan mint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint and spearmint, and they all do well in a dry environment. Other herbs in the mint family that thrive include epazote, bee balm and angelica. The plants in the mint family are well-suited to full sun conditions and don’t need much water to survive. They are also resistant to most garden pests, including aphids.
Mint grows aggressively, even under the harshest conditions, so it is best to devote an individual bed for this herb. Alternatively, you can plant mint in a pot which is then buried in your garden, keeping the roots from spreading.
Aromatic floral herbs
Lavender makes an excellent addition to your dry herb garden. Lavender is perennial, which means it will last for several seasons before it needs to be replaced. It can grow to over four feet tall, and can handle moderate amounts of light and very little water. Lavender has a pleasing aroma that can be used in small amounts in cooking, but is most commonly dried and used in potpourris, soaps and bath products, or in dried floral arrangements. Lavender is best planted in locations where it will be brushed against as you pass by, thus releasing its sweet aroma and filling the air with its delightful perfume.
Many varieties of thyme are suitable for your dry herb garden including English thyme, orange balsam thyme, hi-ho silver thyme, caraway thyme and lemon thyme. They come in a range of sizes and hardiness. Some act as groundcover, spreading along the soil as small twigs, while other varieties will grow more upright and full like a bush. Thyme can be used to flavor dishes, but is also used medicinally and can be ornamental.
As you can see, just because you live in a dry climate does not mean you need to forgo having an herb garden. By planting any of the varieties described above, you’ll create a useful and pleasing garden that will be bountiful all year!