I taught a class at our local college on Herbal Theme Gardens. We discussed serenity gardens, apothocary gardens, and a tea garden. On one side of my patio I have my apothocary garden, calendula, chamomile, St. Johns Wart, Lavender, Yarrow, Catnip, and waiting until the ground is warm, comfrey and arnica.
We had an awning over the patio last summer due to the intense sun we have in our back yard from early morning until late in the evening. This year’s unusual frequent snows, brought it crashing down, and I have been trying to decide what to do. After looking for patio umbrellas this morning on overstock.com (you know they have free or 2.95 shipping!) I think I have settled on a large one that swings out over a pole. This is the first year I have seen them and they are heavy duty and may be manipulated to provide shade as the sun moves.
Thinking back over last year’s mosquito problem, I have decided an insect repellent herb garden needs to be on the other side of the patio.
Plants to include are Rosemary and Peppermint. You can crush the leaves and stems and rub them over the areas these critters like to bite; behind the knees, ankles, inside the elbow, and behind the ear. Or maybe you are like me, and any uncovered part is fair game. Catnip, Wormwood (southernwood), tansy, and feverfew, as well as mints, lavender, thyme, lemongrass, basil, and sage are reported to repel a variety of insects. Many of these can be planted in pots to place near steps or your front, or back door and any entertaining area. The pots can moved around where they are needed.
Like any room you may be decorating, a few accessories will provide color and interest. Gazing balls, birdfeeders, chimes, and birdbaths, as well as fountains, gathered around a comfortable chaise lounge creates a welcome respite.
The beautiful herb garden pictured above is from http://www.howtoherbgarden.com/