It's been a herbie kind of week. No, we haven't got a VW Beetle outside our house with a mind of its own ready to take us on madcap adventures with Dean Jones or Lindsey Lohan, depending on your age you'll get one of those references. If you don't, let's look at some marjoram. It's just under two months since we sowed them. There have been some failures in the seed we sowed. The lemon balm and Greek oregano didn't take but frankly we think is more to do with the weather, it has been a cool, sometimes cold summer, there has been a lot of rain. We have lemon balm elsewhere in the garden, and some oregano too, so we'll take cuttings and show you how to do them. For every cloud there is a silver lining.
Yet, the herb garden takes shape from the plans to the final use of gravel. The direct sown rocket artemis has come up, living up to its name it has already appeared in a few days. Under cover, in the glasshouse, we have a myriad of herbs, bronze and green fennel, and Russian tarragon (which we took to Claire Fleetneedle when we visited her, and she was over the moon that it was Russian and not French, it appears you can do more with Russian than French, we are sure she will reveal all soon). We have hyssop, oxeye daisy and hollyhock black all medium sized plants now. Not bad for six weeks of growth in a dour season. Little D has sown Italian parsley, dill and coriander in pots, he's watched them for days, worried when it rained heavily on them, demanded to place an umbrella over them in the worst of the downpours and yesterday he whooped with joy, clutching a Minion umbrella, they are starting to sprout. The tiny seedlings are making their way in the pots. The herbs are being hardened off and will be ready to plant soon. Some people have asked why we never go for the instant impact garden. The kind you see on television, where a Yorkshire man waves a wand and you get an amazing (and let's face facts they are amazing for people who really need them) garden but when that garden whizzes past in a description of what is what at the end of the show you see that the summer house cost £5,000 (again, it has become pointless to tell you what that is in $ or € because sterling is like a yo-yo on a fraying piece of string), the plants £3,000 and the gilt gnome a cool £1,000,000. We are jesting but you get the idea, instant gardens need instant cash or a Yorkshire wizard. For the rest of us, gardening is the joy, and the joy of thrift, in sowing your own, learning from your mistakes and generally going, 'oooh' and, 'ahhh' at seedlings that becomes true leaves, true leaves that become plants, plants that fill your border. You learn how plants grow, how they develop and sometimes that you have been nurturing a weed.