We recently visited the Herb Garden at the Cooperative Extension Botanical Gardens and took a tour of the many different varieties of herbs grown as a demonstration for what's possible in our desert climate.
Any misconceptions about
growing herbs in a hot, dry place, would surely dissipate upon entering the herb garden courtyard that is maintained by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Master Gardeners.
The area is full of inspiration and is a perfect example of how careful placement and design can yield beautiful results.
This unique setting allows for morning sun and afternoon shade, ideal for growing herbs.
Interplanting of flowers allow for great pollinator activity and a thick layer of wood mulch on the ground suppresses weeds while holding moisture near the plants to conserve water.
The are some fun and creative ways to use containers for growing herbs mixed into the garden.
A potted bird bath is a double feature for growing Variegated Lemon Thyme while providing much-needed water for when our feathered friends come to visit.
A spiral support for potted herbs is a great idea for gardening in tight spaces, such as patios or balconies.
A short walk further into the demonstration garden, past the masses of Penstemon and the scent of Chocolate Flower, leads you to rows of various herbs surrounded by large shrubs of Lavender.
The Master Gardeners are growing several different varieties of Lavender in this area, as well as multiple varieties of other herbs like basil, oregano, and sage.
The garden was designed in such a way that no matter where you are standing, you are overwhelmed with the brilliant contrasts of foliage as well as an assortment of color from the flowers of annuals or perennials mixed with the flowers of the herbs themselves.
The addition of scent from the leaves of the herbs as well as the flowers is intoxicatingly fresh, leaving you with an overall sense of relaxation and well-being.
Herb gardening has many benefits that reach beyond the visual aesthetic of the plants, and with a little care, consideration, and planning, you can reap the many health and wellness rewards of having your own herb garden oasis.
Click here for more information on the Cooperative Extension Botanical Gardens or here for the UNCE Master Gardeners.
Don't forget to take a look at our Star Note #215 Growing Herbs In The Desert!