The Rise of the Herb Garden

It's been a year since we started the herb garden. As spring gets into full throttle we just want to step into it and celebrate it. Carol has taken over the weeding of this garden and the training of the rose over the wall. We want to keep the rose but if we don't keep it under check it will throttle the garden and there is something comforting in this, that in later years the rose will take over the garden and like sleeping beauty we will be in our cottage, old and bickering over beef paste. Sadly, no Prince will hack their way through to rescue us as the yells alone about which beef paste from our childhood was the best echoes over the hills. Now, however the peony is poking through the rose.

herb gardens, life on pig row

The ox-eye daisies sown and planted as plugs last year make their first appearance. The herb garden is knitting together and when that happens, as it did in the cottage garden the weeds find it difficult to compete. That's the plus side of allowing herbs to spread and fill in the gaps.

herb garden, gardening, life on pig row

All this garden has been grown from seed and division (that's when you take an existing plant and well, divide it with a sharp spade). We doubt the garden has cost more than £30-£50, though I suspect Andrew knows the exact cost*. It has been a labour of love born out of a rather sad patch in front of the house that people passed, recognised Andrew from his newspaper columns, and said, 'Is that your garden?' #embarrassing. Before anything could be said about building work, builders flattening all his dahlias or even 'it's a work in progress' they would tut, shake their heads and walk away, normally with Andrew chasing them with excuses #mortifying. It's come a long way from the initial hard landscaping


Even the wonderful game of sowing oriental papavers from seed collected and not knowing what colour they would be became a source of much hilarity as we'd scream through open doors, 'It's pink and huge' #innuendo #whatwilltheneighbourssay? Then there are the real successes, the love in the mist successes, the one bloody flower we could never get to grow at Drovers, on the allotments and on projects decides to grow here. Neither one strictly a herb but what the hell, this is our garden, we can push the boundaries. The garden has really knitted together since September last year, showing what a little patience gets you.

gardening, life on pig row

The whole herb garden project hasn't just been about saving face, it's a practical, edible space, and as we write this Andrew is using mint in a fruit drink, Little D is pulling his face after trying some fennel, there is oregano and rosemary for our table, chives flowers to chew on, coriander to sow and among it all, bulls blood lettuce running to seed, peas growing up the wigwams, dahlias starting to sprout and when you look at it all, you wouldn't know it was a year old. We think every front garden should be a herb garden, here's to the rise of the front garden, here's to the rise of the herb garden.

gardening, herbs, life on pig row

gardening, life on pig row

* he does, it cost £31.24


  1. Gorgeous herb garden. I love how the chive flowers bob above the rest of your herbs. They're beautiful.