I just peter out toward mid to late June. The garden is fine but I get discouraged because the consequences of having a 35-50 year old maple tree in my garden/farmyard become abundantly clear. By this time of year the tree casts a wide shadow which grows month by month and year by year. Thus my vegetable garden growth is behind, behind, behind.  I KNOW there will be enough tomatoes in August to feed the neighborhood but there are always those gardeners who not only already have blossoms on their tomato plants but also fruit beginning to ripen. Sigh.  

dill and basil


But here’s a thing. Yesterday a friend asked how the Palmer farm is doing and I responded as above. However on further consideration I would have to say that the Palmer farm is in reality the Palmer herbarium(?).  

Since the later seventies I have been growing herbs in their various forms and varieties from the southern tier of NY to the suburbs of Rochester. Today’s garden has no less than 15 different herbs thriving.  They bloom, they smell, they scatter seeds for the  coming year or not. It’s fun and it happens that most herbs are easy to grow.  

sweet woodruff in bloom


Sweet Cecily already setting seed

St. John's Wort

So this year’s list includes: lemon balm, St. John’s wort, thyme, lavender, dill, 2 varieties of basil, lemon verbena, rosemary, parsley, wintergreen, sage, sweet woodruff, sweet Cecily and oregano. With the exception of the basils, lemon verbena and the rosemary each comes back year after year.  

bee balm (Monarda)

2010 garlic harvest

In addition to the above I have other plants that the 1976 edition of The Rodale Herb Book insists also can be considered herbs. They include chives, feverfew, garlic, holly, juniper, sassafras, sunflower and bee balm. That does not count echinacea which is now considered the be all and end all of the healing herbs.  

Echinacea 'Sunset'