Fresh herbs from your own garden are easy to grow and essential to flavoring meals. Once you've tried your own home-grown herbs, you won't want to go back to your dried spice rack!
Plant outside once the soil warms -- night-time temperatures should be over 50ºF. Basil thrives in warm weather, in full sun and with regular water. Use organic amendment and mulch around the base.
Harvest your basil often - the best time to do so is in the early morning. Cut off the flowering stems to keep the plant bushy. Freeze or dry the basil leaves to preserve.
Many pests also love the taste of basil. Pick off pests, or use horticultural oil, insecticidal soap or neem oil to thwart hungry garden visitors.
Plant in the full sun in well-drained soil. Water sparingly but regularly during the growing season and keep in mind Rosemary will spread quickly if it's in a warm climate similar to its Mediterranean habitat. In areas where it freezes regularly, keep Rosemary in a pot and bring indoors (overwinter in USDA hardiness zones 6 and lower). Trim Rosemary after flowering to keep it in nice form. Snip off sprigs and air dry to use later.
The best type for cooking is Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare var. hirtum). Plant seeds or cuttings of Oregano after the last spring frost. The soil should be around 70ºF and well-drained. This hardy plant loves full sun and moderate to light water. The best time to harvest is prior to flowering. Freeze or dry the leaves for future use.
Parsley is usually grown from seed. Start indoors 10 weeks before the last frost, or outside 3 weeks before the last frost to get a head start, or start them when the soil warms. Parsley can take up to 3 weeks to sprout. Sow in rich soil, 6 - 8 inches apart. As they grow, water evenly and regularly. When you see leaf stems with three segments, cut leaves from the outer portions to harvest. To store, either air dry or stick fresh segments in a glass of water and place in the fridge.
Plant sage in full sun. Sage can be sown as seeds, propagated from cuttings, or directly planted. Sage grows best in full sun with well-draining soil. This culinary herb makes a versatile kitchen and ornamental plant outdoors in the ground or in a pot. Sow seeds or plant cuttings up to 2 weeks before the last spring frost.
Water the growing plants regularly to establish their root systems. Once plants are mature, moderate to light water will suffice. Mature plants will benefit from being pruned of heavy wood each spring. Harvest sparingly from immature plants and taper off harvesting as fall approaches. Freeze or air dry the leaves/sprigs for future use.
The Aldrich Company is proud to announce that Alida Aldrich, its principal designer, has recently joined The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara. The foundation’s mission is to educate the community about the importance of Santa Barbara’s unique architecture and how it has shaped the region’s history.
To see plants suited to our region, a stroll through Alice Keck Park or our Botanic Garden is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon while gathering inspiration.
Don’t forget seasonal feeding and putting down mulch – both are very important for a healthy, vibrant garden.
Summer is the time for outdoor entertaining! Is your garden ready for company?
Happy spring! Here are some spring gardening tips:
-Due to all the rain we’ve had, its important to feed now. A healthy garden is better able to fight off pests and diseases.
-Maybe this spring you’ll grow a few of your favorite herbs and vegetables.
-Roses! Roses! Roses! Now you can see the actual flower color on the bush – local nurseries have roses in containers waiting to be planted in your sunny garden plot.
-An inviting garden will call to you to come outdoors to spend time enjoying the peace and beauty it offers.
-Create a special haven for yourself. Let your imagination soar! Remember, change can be good.
Last chance to plant your bare-root roses and stone fruit trees! There’s still time for winter annuals such as pansies, snapdragons, primrose, stock and violas.
Now’s the time for dahlia, gladiolus, tuberous begonia, and tuberose bulbs. Pure of heart will set out seeds for beets, carrots, chives, lettuces, and other seedlings in the cabbage family.
Winter is a good time to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your garden.
Since first launching her landscape design career in 1982 in Los Angeles, Alida Aldrich has stayed true to three pillars of her craft: respect for a site’s existing landscape; careful consideration of surrounding architecture; and above all, a loyalty to client vision. Throughout Santa Barbara and Montecito — where she relocated her headquarters in 1996 — The Aldrich Company’s time-tested approach is well-suited to the region’s picturesque parcels, architectural review, and homeowners’ sophisticated and discerning taste. And it shows. Aldrich has won design awards from the Montecito Association, Santa Barbara Beautiful, and — four years running — international “Best of Houzz” accolades. Her services include complete conceptual design, full working drawings, installation oversight, and maintenance supervision. For more, visit her site: http://www.aldrich-landscapes.com
We caught up with Aldrich to hear about bit more about Central Park influences, the boon of being her own boss, and a certain Supreme Court justice.
See the blog post at: www.giffinandcrane.com/blog/the-gc-questionnaire-alida-aldrich/
G&C: What drew you to landscape design early on?
Aldrich: Decades ago, having developed a passion for working in my own garden, I enrolled in the Landscape Architectural Program at UCLA (with tree and plant courses at Pierce College, in the San Fernando Valley). That formal education gave me the confidence to open my own landscape design studio.
What has been your favorite work-related field trip or vacation?
New York City’s Central Park. Within the larger 843-acre park, there are numerous smaller parks, each with its own distinct design character. It’s remarkable how Fredrick Law Olmstead’s original designs continued to thrive, offering pleasure to city dwellers for more than 160 years.
What is your favorite public landscape design in Santa Barbara?
Alice Keck Memorial Park is a perfectly scaled jewel. Everyone can stroll through to see various examples of the Mediterranean plant palette best-suited to our region.
Where do you find design inspiration outside of work?
By seeing other landscape designers’ and architects’ work on my walks around different neighborhoods in Santa Barbara. Also from magazines, and online articles and photos.
What do you most like about your job?
I treasure setting my own calendar and being my own boss.
What do you most dislike about your job?
Failure of others to do their work properly and timely. There are many trades involved in installing a garden design. One trade dropping the ball can throw the whole project off kilter.
If you had to go back to pick another profession, what would it be?
I’d choose anything having to do with music. Music — another art form — compliments my creative nature.
What is your current state of mind?
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I don’t believe there is such a thing — it would be a fool’s errand to try.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel. I have been fortunate to have lived and visited a number of locales around the world. It’s a marvelous way for personal and professional expansion.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Routine. It’s lethal.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Temperance. We’re only here for one go around — no sense in holding back!
Which talent would you most like to have?
Playing an instrument.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Educating myself and starting and running a successful landscape design business for many years.
What is your most treasured possession?
Friends. You simply cannot get thru life without them.
What do you most value in your friends?
Which living person do you most admire?
Who is your favorite fictional character?
Who are your heroes in real life?
On what occasion do you lie?
Only as a last resort to lessen someone’s pain.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What word or phase do you most overuse?
What is your motto?
“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us show up and get to work.’
— American painter and photographer Chuck Close.