Herb Fair 2007


Aka The Great Yearly Event in Which I Grant Myself Permission to Pig Out on More Herbs Than You Can Shake a Stick At.

I went. I smelled. Money left my wallet. I went home with an allergy attack and a cart full of glorious, smellerific plants.

Here’s what everyone wants to see:

  • ‘Red Gem’ and ‘Tangerine Gem’ Marigolds – Have I sold you on these yet? I’ve been shouting high and low about these for years and they’re still not as popular as I’d like them to be. In fact I did not grow any from seed because they were so easy to find last year. 4 for a buck. This year, NOTHING. Now I’ve been reduced to purchasing these at 2 bucks a pop.
  • Virginia Mountain Mint
  • Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) – A native carnivorous plant. I purchased this one from the North American Native Plant Society. There is a large cocoon snug inside one of the old pitchers. Only time will tell what will emerge from within. We wait and watch with fear and excitement.
  • Coconut Geranium – My scented geranium collection is seriously out-of-hand. Have I mentioned how I really do not need more plants to over-winter? You should see it though. It’s the small leaved type with delicate little purple/pink flowers. Sigh.
  • Peppermint Geranium – I have a variegated type but this one has irresistably soft and fuzzy leaves.
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Basils – I won’t list all the varieties, of which there are many. Several in fact. This list might go on for days.
  • Perilla ‘Britton’ – I grew this two-toned leaf variety last year and it was such a hit I thought I’d try it again.
  • ‘Purple Beauty’ Pepper – A sweet bell pepper that I can’t recommend enough. It does well in medium-sized containers (try at least a foot and a half deep) with fruit that starts out purple so you don’t have to slug it out through boring green bells waiting for a colour change.
  • ‘Black Pineapple’ Tomato – Colette of Urban Harvest describes it as “ugly but delicious.” She’s been trying to sell it to me all season-long and frankly I just don’t have the fortitude and willpower necessary to resist a black tomato.
  • Orange Thyme – One of my favourite thyme varieties. There are an astonishing number beyond the usual — please don’t make me choose just one. This one features a very low trailing habit with spikey leaves that carry a sweet n’ spicey orange scent.
  • Lemon Eucalyptus – I could not resist the strong, fresh lemon scent and the delicate, floppy leaves. I do not need another plant to overwinter! Why do I do this to myself?

I also received a couple of basils and eggplants in trade. Now I just have to get these things planted!

Previously: 2005, 2004, 2003… and so on.

Now I know why I neglected to write a yearly update after last year’s event… too many plants!

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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9 thoughts on “Herb Fair 2007

  1. Wow, great haul! I think I’m going to plant some marigolds with my tomatoes and will look for the variety you’ve recommended.

  2. I’ve never heard of those marigold varieties but how I love them! I’m waiting for the Crackerjacks we started from seed to finally pop.

  3. Great stuff! Love the scented geranium collection idea – I only have a lime one so far, but it’s lovely. Good luck with the Black Pineapple… The one I have is dropping its blossoms and driving me nuts trying to figure out why.

  4. wow, that was a scrolldown. i saw the first tier of your trolley and thought “nice haul, quite reasonable…” and then scrolled down… :)

    btw, you must do a photo-docco of the cocoon inside the carnivour! simply marvelous…

  5. I started lemon and tangerine gem marigolds from seed this year, and they’re about to bloom (my season is quite different than yours), and so far, I’m thrilled. They’re happy, healthy plants, and I can’t wait to see what they look like in flower. Is the picture you’ve posted tangerine or red gem?

    Great herb collection. I’m looking forward to reading what you do with it all.

  6. My memory of lemon eucalyptus is that it can grow very tall, with limbs that snap off without warning. Do I have the right plant?

  7. Christina: I think this is tangerine in the pic. The tag indicated red but I’ve got another one and it is much darker. I’ve grown tangerine for a few years now and it looks like this one. Can’t always trust those tags.

    Katie: The tall part sounds about right. No snapping limbs as of yet.

  8. On the topic of basil, what kind do you recommend planting in with San Amarzano tomatoes? I have been looking through books and books and I can’t seem to find the answer…

  9. Shelly: You can plant any basil variety you like best. I have never noticed a difference in companionship between different varieties. I generally grow the varieties that I think taste best and are the most attractive. For example ‘Purple Ruffles’ is a popular one around here.

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