Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sharing the goods with herb wreaths

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When your garden gives you an abundance of herbs, spilling out of their intended growing spaces, you start to think about projects to make with them. Attempting an herb wreath on this particular warm fall day seemed doable and fun. I had a limited window of time to utilize the offerings of my side garden's bounty with cold weather encroaching upon the growing season and with the crunch of the holidays being right around the corner as well. It was a beautiful day to be in the backyard with my dog, Winston, and seeing what I could concoct with all these herb clippings I had brought there.

I had to move and move fast to make what I was thinking was a great use of something that I had plenty of. Waste not, want not. I couldn't let something that I so loved cooking with in the spring and summer, wither away in the winter months. I consider it a true luxury to be able to dart out of my kitchen while preparing a meal to my side garden to pinch off some basil, lemon thyme, rosemary or sage to complement a meal or wash it down with tea flavored with mint. The aroma of these simple plants are just so great. In the fall, I gather these herbs in bunches and tie them up to dry in my kitchen and later store in air tight containers.

On this particular day, I got to thinking that I had all the materials needed at the house, including the vine from my concord grapes that I would use as the base. This vine grows like crazy and I pretty much bonsai the thing back to keep it in control along our backyard fence. It provides privacy and lots of grapes for the birds. We get some of the fruit, but it is hard to fight the inevitable forces of nature and its creatures. I use some of the pliable, clipped vines for various things around the garden like trellising, but most are bagged and carried away to the dump.

Lemon thyme



So, with all my needed supplies laying before me on my patio table, I started assembling this project. First matter at hand was to tie with wire some thyme which would be the filler of the wreath. The other herbs would be tucked in at various places.

Garden clippers, needle-nose pliers and wire help pull this project together.

A bunch of thyme is tied to the base.

After getting the thyme situated around the base, I then basically tied in bunches of sage and rosemary in areas that complimented the overall look and balance of the wreath. The effort is pretty simple and doesn't take long to have a full wreath after pulling and pushing the herbs into their appropriate spots.

In time, I had two of these completed which I ended up sending down South to my Mom and sister. They both are wonderful cooks and I knew that they would get a kick out of receiving one of these without any notice they were headed their way. It was about to be a busy time for both of them for holiday cooking afterall. Upon opening the box when it arrived in Birmingham, my mother said the smell of the herbs in the box was out of this world as you can imagine.

The completed herb wreath ready for drying.


Jeff Branch said...

Cool post and great photos. If Jana and I weren't so busy these days, we might try a wreath.

Amy L said...

Beautiful photos and I am here to say that I just loved that wreath!