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Herbs, frogs--

I'm going to have to make or commish a "talking about plants and gardening" icon, soon...

Spent pretty much all weekend working on an herb garden in the front yard. Got most of it planted, ran out of dirt for two of the larger subsections, so it's not q-u-i-t-e finished yet. It's a kind of oblong running along the house-side of our driveway. I'll post a photograph (for those that care :) when I've finished it, though it'll probably look silly until the herbs start to spread.

Planted: Lemon grass, lemon verbena (the smell of lemon verbena is fantastic! Run your hands through it, it's like shoving a lemon-scented moist towelette up each nostril. It's not good for much besides scent, tho, since it doesn't taste like anything.) Stevia, Orange mint (nothing special), cinnamon basil, sweet basil.

Didn't get the "normal" stuff in, except sweet basil, because I was saving it for the larger patches and I didn't get enough dirt for those :( Still to plant: spearmint, peppermint, chili pequines, english mint, pineapple mint, crinkle-leaf mint. I'm a bit of a mint fan, if it's not immediately obvious. Also have a catnip plant, but I think I'm going to put that in one of the raised pots, to keep it a little bit out of the way of, well, cats.

Some stuff I'm keeping under the front porch in pots, so that it can grow a little bit from its original little cup until I can plant it, actually building that garden was a bit of an effort!

*sigh* Technically, October is when you're supposed to plant mint, but it's my favorite plant, and everything except Chocolate Mint can survive the summer just fine...

When I was in early College I had a garden with about ten different types of mint in it--it made the BEST iced tea! Hoping to get back to that.

Anyway, last night I popped out to take a look at what I'd done, and there was a tiny little toad-frog hopping through my new garden :) It humored my as I ran back to the house to get a camera and snap a few shots of it. I don't think toad-frogs are usually good omens, but I'm always thrilled to see something living and natural in our paper-cutter neighborhood :)

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
chrisloy
Apr. 21st, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
Actually, Lemon grass is supposed to repel mosquitoes, I've heard.

Isn't mint fairly invasive in yards? I was considering looking up different kinds to find a "soft" type and have it instead of grass (in my imaginary yard).
spottylogic
Apr. 21st, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Mint's pretty invasive, yes--I've got it in a raised, bricked-off bed, so I'm hoping it stays in its predefined space--if it spreads a bit I don't care, my main concern is that different mints planted together tend to degrade in quality over time. However, it really thrives only in relatively moist areas. Spearmint's the most durable, I've seen it growing in calichi-limestone soil a year after I'd given up on the plant bed. If you have a low area of property that gets most of the run-off from the area, mint will flourish there with little or no care.

I don't think it would be up to much foot traffic, though. It's not a really durable plant, unlike grass.
spottylogic
Apr. 21st, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, lemon GRASS is very useful! I buy it all the time for asian cooking, but verbena's kind of useless. Smells fantastic, though.
itza
Apr. 21st, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
When we left your place last time, we saw a little bunny hopping across the street!
spottylogic
Apr. 21st, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, cute! :) I know there are a few raccoons in the area, too.
kt_kat
Apr. 22nd, 2008 12:26 am (UTC)
I am sure there are armadillos, and coyotes in the adjacent fields, too! At our old apartments near there, we'd hear a pack yipping and yowling at a passing ambulance every so often.

If you have bushes up against your house, it makes a great habitat for anoles. :D
spottylogic
Apr. 22nd, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Aww, maybe I'll hear the coyotes in the spring :) Haven't seen any armadillos, saw a few possums (not the animate kind, but the other). We've got lots of bushes, and lots of little lizards, too :)
eris_star
Apr. 22nd, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
I like toads.
I don't think toad-frogs are usually good omens

It all depends on which mythology you're using.

Mythology aside, it's a good sign, not only for the health of your little patch of ground, but for the surrounding area as well. They're predators, so they can only survive if there's a food web to sustain them. And they help your garden by eating the bugs. You can buy a toad house to help protect it from heat and cold, or you can make one easily - install a heavy earthenware bowl, or most of a broken flower pot, or a chunk of hollowed-out log. Pretty much anything will work, as long as it gives a sort of cave effect, and there's a small opening for it to get in and out, and it's not so low that it'll flood in the rain. Snakes like similar habitat too. You might put it in the foundation bushes, so the critter won't feel so exposed going to and from his house.
spottylogic
Apr. 22nd, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
Re: I like toads.
I've seen a couple of toads in the area. Maybe I'll get around to being hospitable to them. It's a thought. They're cute little things.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )