Goodbye Bog Garden

The better side of the Bog Garden - still not that great
The better side of the Bog Garden – still not that great

I had a lie in last Sunday morning, an unusual event recently but well overdue.  The only problem is that it meant my mind was wandering around (I had been woken by my mad cat demanding to be let out at 6am so was wide awake!).  I started thinking about Bog Garden which really isn’t very boggy and is one of those parts of the garden that I walk past averting my eyes.

The bog garden was originally created to solve the problem of the pond which itself was created in the large hole left by a very large inherited conifer.  The pond was alright to start with but people always under-estimate how much work is involved in maintaining a pond and I do believe  that in order to have a good and healthy wildlife pond you need one of a good size not the small one I had.  So the pond was filled in, with the liner punctured first to improve drainage.  The idea was that this would provide the ideal conditions for my Ligularia and other plants which had been around the pond.

The bog garden from the shady end - in need of work
The bog garden from the shady end – in need of work

It turns out that this was not the case.  I suspect I was over enthusiastic in puncturing the liner since the bog garden has never been that boggy.  The Ligularia in particularly looks great in spring until the slugs attack but it soon declines and is obviously suffering from a lack of moisture, this was even the case last year when it was very wet.  I have decided to take the approach I took with the Cottage border and to remove everything apart from the shrubs.  Some plants I will discard, such as the Ligularia and Rodgersia, and other I will pot up until I can decide where they will go.

I need to have a more cohesive approach to the border and this, as well as the lack of moisture, has caused a real headache.  I have until now treated the border as two  separate borders, an approach that was destined to fail.  On the far side is the bog garden and on the side nearest the house is a drier area with a large Prunus incisa ‘kojo-no-mai’.  I have some Phlox and Monarda in this area but they look a little lost so they will be lifted and probably incorporated into the Big Border.  The whole border is very shady with only the far corner nearest the shed in any sort of sun.  So I have decided that this is going to become an extension of the ‘woodland/shade border’.  I think the planting will be predominantly ferns, hostas, primulas and maybe meconopsis if I can get them established but I need to do some research to find the right varieties for the deeper shade and for the drier areas.

Woodland slope - also in need of an overhaul
Woodland slope – also in need of an overhaul

Then there is the slope behind this bed.  It is quite a small slope behind the bed but gets higher the nearer the shed you go.  At the shed end I have my asters which need sorting out.  They were bunched up here when the shed project started but now I can see which one is what I can reorganise for a better effect.  The lower bit of the slope is much shadier and I want to clear this and use it for more of my woodland bulbs and smaller plants.  As this is one of my areas of growing interest making extra space for these plants is a real boon and makes me very happy.

It has taken me a while but I have finally realised that I can’t have everything and anything that I take a fancy to.  Not only do I not have the space but also I don’t have the right conditions for everything.  Therefore, I am focussing on my real passions and not whims and amazingly, instead  of feeling like I am being denied something, I feel liberated and able to really focus on my burgeoning passions. And I love a project to get my teeth into!

The Bog Garden

Ligularia dentata 'Britt Marie Crawford'
Ligularia dentata 'Britt Marie Crawford'

I have illusions of grandeur and have created what I like to call the bog garden all of which makes me sound like I am auditioning to play Miranda Hart’s mother.  The reason for this grandiose pretension is that I grew to dislike my wildlife pond with vengeance.

The pond has been in for about 7 years ever since we pulled down a ridiculously huge conifer which we inherited with the house and were left with a large gaping hole and nothing to fill it in with.  This is definitely not the way to go about making a pond.  The location was wrong – half way up a sloping garden and it was virtually under the branches of a large prunus tree.  Now I know that some people say siting your pond under a tree is good as the shade helps control algae but you have to have the patience of the saint to keep scoping all the leaves out and the title of this blog is purely aspirational.  The first couple of years it was alright not great but I hoped it would be.  However, it deteriorated.  Somehow I managed to kill off three waterlilies, the net I tried to throw over the pond to stop leaves falling in failed and it just started to clog up more and more.  I have spent hours fishing leaves out, scoping gloop out and raking duckweed out.  The only thing that was good about the pond were the frogs.

Iris siberica
Iris siberica

But there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and admit defeat and that time came this summer.  The pond was getting more and more congested and the lack of rain didn’t help with moisture loving perennials sitting high and dry and wilting.  I also got a cat who I have since discovered is a real hunter and is quite partial to chasing frogs.  The turning point was when I visited a Westonbury Garden out in Herefordshire which is entirely based around water and they had a wonderful bog garden.  The thought process started and is often the case much planning was done in the early hours.

I dithered about it mainly due to the prospect of emptying out the pond and all the foul-smelling gloop I would have to encounter.  Luckily I went to visit Karen and she suggested that I just pierce some holes in the liner and let the water drain out, this would also give the frogs and other wildlife time to make new accommodation plans.    What an excellent plan and why didn’t I think of that – the garden blogging world is so helpful.

Darmera peltata
Darmera peltata

I returned and started piercing holes, the water drained, the mud emerged, more holes were pierced.  The pond plants, with the exception of a tall grass, were composted and I started work on the plants around the edge.  We had to build up one side to take account of the fall of the land and luckily all this soil went quite a way to filling the pond up.  I cut back the liner so it only covered the bottom deep section of the pond.  All the old compost from pots and grow bags were emptied in last week and then the planting commenced.

The pond in February before everything grew up
The pond in February before everything grew up

I had wonderful planting plans in my head using all the plants from around the pond and the moisture loving plants from the surrounding border.  However, my night-time planning sessions hadn’t really worked out that the quantity of plants was in excess of the space available.  By the time I had hauled the large clump of Ligularia across to a new damper location, added a quarter of the Rheum tubers, the tall unknown grass thing rescued from the pond and a vast fern the space was getting full.  Also added was a King Fern, some Iris siberica, a Dermera peltata, and some Marsh Marigold.  Some Foxgloves and bulbs were planted where the new border becomes drier.

The new bog garden looking very bare
The new bog garden looking very bare

In my head it will look wonderous, lush and full.  Whether or not this will be the case only a growing season will tell.  I really struggled to imagine how it would look when none of the plants had leaves on making it hard to see how the different foliage would work together.  I also have loads of Candelabra Primula seedlings to add as a sort of glue to the planting.  So we shall wait and see and I will report back next year I promise even if it is rubbish!

In other news I have signed up to take the 10 week English Landscape Garden course at Oxford University.  It starts at the end of January and hopefully will entertain me while the weather is too cold for gardening.  I should have more time by then as it is my last monthly local radio slot this weekend.  I am only on for 15 minutes maximum but I have really enjoyed it this year especially seeing behind the scenes.  Also my twice weekly posts for Know How pages will stop at the end of February.  I have found these challenging at times as I have written the posts for 3 years now and it has got to the point where I find myself repeating things which I suppose is only to be expected in gardening.  I have enjoyed the weekly discipline of writing posts to deadline and I have learnt loads through all the research I have done.  But as they say all good things have to come to and end.

Update: the radio want me to continue for the foreseeable which is fab.

Projects underway

With the arrival of some much needed rain over the last few weeks my son and I have finally started on some of the projects I had planned for the garden.  I must admit I am lucky to have a very practical son to  help me out with my plans.

Last weekend he cleared the top corner of the  garden and took away 6 years of twigs, branches and other woody detritus.  Being a scout leader he did have a bit of an ulterior motive as he wanted it for the scout firework night bonfire.  Now before the wildlife fans get upset I still have a couple of rotting logs tucked away for invertebrates and we gave everything a good shake to give insects a chance to escape to a new woody pile we have created elsewhere.  You can see that I have a horrid concrete based fence which I can’t remove as its shared with the neighbour behind who likes it!  The tree roots also make it hard to dig the soil here so my son has used some scaffolding board we had left over and created a bit of a raised bed.  We have filled this with the decomposing turf stack I created when I lifted some of the lawn for the woodland border.  I am really thrilled with this new bed especially as I wasn’t expecting him to complete it in one day.  I am planning on planting a couple of shrubs here and maybe a tall grass.  I particularly fancy Hydrangea serrata ‘Shichidanka’ as I  think the pretty small pink flowers will light up this corner.

Having felt very tired yesterday and fiddled around with pots I decided today that I needed to start tackling the pond/bog garden project.  The sun was shining and temperatures were around 17C which is bizarre for November.  As I have mentioned before I have struggled with the pond for a couple of years, it just doesn’t work and whilst I  like seeing ponds elsewhere I don’t think I am keen enough on pond plants to struggle with one.  This year it has been particularly awful with low levels of water due to the dry season and my moisture loving  plants in the border around the pond really struggled.  Therefore I decided to utilise the failing pond to create a bog  garden to give the rheum and ligularia a better chance.

Today I started on the far side of the pond.  Lifting the plants which are now residing in the new border above until their new home is sorted.  I have cut back the liner to help with drainage and I have shovelled the soil from the back border into the middle of the pond.  I haven’t had much of an idea of what the end product will look like until today.  I had one of those eureka moment when I decided that instead of running a path through the middle of the bed it will now go  round the back in front of the dry stone wall.  There is a firm base here and all I will  have to do is to add some chipped bark whereas the first plan would mean a lot of work to create a stable base.

I’m also pleased with this decision as it means that the wall will be on view instead of hidden behind the tall ferns etc.  The slope at this point has been problematic as it has been difficult to access, I knew it was a bad idea when we did it, so I have tended to ignore it to some extent.    Over the last year I have been working on giving this bit of the slope a spring feel by planting lots of snowdrop bulbs, primulas and white perennial honesty.  Now that I can get to the bed better I will be able to see the bulbs up close and then in late spring I will re-jig it and plant some geraniums I have to add some summer colour.

Next week or when my achy body and the weather permits I need to clear the other side and cut  back the liner there too.  There is a huge rheum in here which I need to wrestle out of the ground and I suspect this will be all I actually manage in one go.  The rheum is now going in the middle of the bed, the soggiest bit.  I then have to sort out the levels which are currently all wrong and fill up the rest of the pond.  Then its a case of moving the ligularia, darmera and other plants I have rescued in to their new home.  Next year hopefully my trays of candelabra primulas will have bulked up enough to be planted out  and I am also going to add some irises – sibricia and robusta.

Oh and I planted some raspberries and a blackberry at the allotment.

So that was my weekend – how was yours?!

A gardening day at last

Today was the best day in the garden this year but that isn’t really saying much as it’s the first day I have really been able to spend any time outside due to the cold, rain, frost, ice or snow since November.

As normal I had half a dozen ideas of what I wanted to get on with today but I became distracted by the pond.  Having written a blog post for on tidying your pond before the frogs spawn I thought I ought to take my own advice and do just that!.  Despite having spent some time in the autumn trying to clear leaves from the pond it was quite choker with leaves and sticks particularly after the gales we have had over the weekend.  I donned my rubber gloves and set to.  It was a smelly and dirty job but I am pleased with the result.

I disturbed a frog which sat just peeping out of the water looking at me, presumably unimpressed.  I went to take a photo of the frog but he disappeared as soon as the camera appeared typical.  Anyway, its good to know that at least one frog has survived the last winter, hopefully there will be another of the opposite sex and lots of frog spawn will follow.

I had to take a short break to clean myself up and pop into Worcester for my short 10 min monthly  guest slot on the local gardening radio programme (I’m about 15 mins in).  Then it was back to the garden and more tidying.  The deciduous grasses have been cut back and the old shoots removed which required a sort of combing technique – time-consuming but they look much better now.

I pricked out my onion seedlings, tidied the greenhouse, did a bit of weeding and cut back the leaves on some of the hellebores so I can see the flowers better. I now ache all over but feel rejuvenated and happy with even more plans and schemes buzzing in my head.

EOM View: Nov 2010 Warts and All

It’s the end of October and the garden is slowly throwing off its summer glad rags and getting ready for a long sleep.  I thought for a change this month I would give you a tour of the whole garden – warts and all.  So if you enter the garden from the side gate this is the first view you get.  The empty area in front of the wall has been cleared for a small bike shed. You can see from this view that I garden on quite a slope – though it isn’t as steep as my last garden!

You come round the corner and on to my chaotic, far too small patio.  The greenhouse is here as it’s the only flat bit of the garden.  I dislike my patio a lot, it’s made of those horrid pink and yellow paving slabs which I can’t afford to replace at the moment so it doesn’t get cleaned!

Both ends of the patio border.  This was the first area I developed when I moved in and the soil is fabulous.  I need to move the Euphorbia in the picture above as it is just too tall for the location and doesn’t work with the rest of the planting. Plants get dumped here when I bring them home before I plant them out.

Far end of the patio.  This area floods when we have a lot of rain so the corner is a sort of soak away with Cyperus Glaber planted in it.But I need to find something to go up the fence.  Next to it is a sort of display area where my succulent collection lives in the summer and at the moment it is holding pots of bulbs ready for planting out in the spring

The steps to the real  garden.  The brickwork is in need of attention and pointing – another job for the list.

We are working our way round the top of the lawn. If you take the short gravel path you can see in the second photo of the group above you come to the pond.  This is a wildlife pond as you can certainly tell at the moment. It’s looking a little dishevelled and it is sited far to close to the nearby trees so I waste much time fishing leaves out of it.  I have tried netting it before but it is an awkward shape so that just didn’t work – oh well.  Coming back to the lawn you have the pond border below

I tend to use the pond border for strongly coloured plants so in the summer there are lots of reds and purples in it. There are quite a few gaps now as the Rheum has died and the Ligularia has been cut back as it was collapsing into the pond.

Up yet more steps from the end of the pond  and on your left you have the compost and dumping area – looking quite tidy at the moment after my mega session last weekend.  On the right the path goes along the back bank.  In the front raised bed there are now raspberry canes at the far end and a nursery bed in the shade for my young perennials.

The view across the garden from the top of the bank.  Now back along the path and down the steps to the woodlandy bit at the far end of the garden.

This is part of the garden I manage to turn a blind eye to.  It is difficult to establish plants here as the ground is full of roots from my neighbour’s sycamore and other trees.  I think this is an area I will work on next year; I’m thinking of widening the border as it seems very mean now.  I want to plant some good shrubs in here to provide a screen to the fence as I want to try and blur the boundaries. This border curves round to the top of the wall border! Already lots of leaves to collect!

The first of these two photos is the area which is driving me mad and has been for some time.  I came up with the idea of putting some topiary in it to give winter interest but the cost is prohibitive.  I don’t really want box balls but the alternatives are just beyond my budget and now I have looked at some box balls I just don’t think they are me.  I really want some height but without creating something that dominates the view from the house too much.  I have also seen a couple of small trees I like so my brain is buzzing with ways to make this work.  I think there may well be some more grasses but who knows.

The border brings us back to the first set of steps and the patio and back where we started.  So there is my garden fading into winter nicely. It’s certainly not the garden of the glossy magazines but it is my garden and I love it. I’ve only really been gardening it for 4/5 years and do all the work myself.  It was just lawn and a few conifers when I started and due to my budget all the plants tend to be quite small when they go in – hence the title of this blog!!I think next month I may start a new series of End of Month views but I haven’t decided what.  I may concentrate on boundaries but that could be very boring or I may show you my front garden which I have a love/hate relationship with.

Please do join in the End of Month meme its a good way fo recording your garden through the year or maybe just one area that you are developing.  If you do join in please put a link to your blog post in the comments box below and we can all pop over for a nose!!





A weekend’s gardening – good for the soul

Finally, after three weekends of not being able to get in the garden due to two colds and family commitments I managed to spend quite a bit of time indulging myself this weekend. It was a little chilly to start with but hard work soon warmed me up and I even avoided coughing fits which have plagued me for four weeks.

My first priority was to get my raspberry canes in.  I didn’t have any stakes to construct a support network for the canes but I am reliably informed that autumn raspberries don’t need support – still not convinced.  I also planted out a collection of strawberries in front of the canes.  So the soft fruit border is underway.

This done I started on the huge task of leaf collecting, cutting back as necessary and generally tidying as I go.  I do only have a comparatively small garden but I’m the only gardener and I am filling it up with lots of herbaceous labour intensive planting.  However, this is exactly what I love about gardening, the methodicalness (is that a word) of the work, the reward of seeing tidy and attractive (most of the time borders).  I find the steady pace very soothing and relaxing.

I started at the pond border (top pic) and have given it a good tidy up.  I don’t cut back the seed heads unless the stems have fallen over etc as I think they provide good winter interest and the birds love them.  Last winter the finches went mad for the Agastache seed heads when we had snow on the ground.  The far end of the pond is in shade and this is what I grandly call the woodland area and where I have quite a few woodland/shade loving plants.  It’s not part of the garden I show very often, I’m not sure why but as I have tided it I thought I would show you.

This is the border adjacent to the steps.  Regular readers may remember my photos showing my lovely Rheum with big gorgeous leaves.  Well the cold has hot it and the leaves disintegrated and fallen to the ground so they have been tidied away and there is a huge hole in the border.  I’m thinking of putting some early spring bulbs in there to appear before the Rheum and I might also put some autumn crocuses for next year to appear when the Rheum has gone.

All this tidying up generates quite a bit of waste.  Before I started I decided to address the compost area as this had got completely out of control some months ago and I have been turning a blind eye to it for far too long.  Under the garden debris there were two compost bins.  I had emptied them at the start of the year and had good intentions of filling one first and then the other etc.  It all started very well but went adrift somewhere in the summer when we had an infestation of rats and I lost my nerve.  So as the rats are long gone, I decided to just pile all the debris into the two bins, apply some activator and lots of water and then to tackle them again in the spring.  I have to say that the bins are very very full, in fact I probably need three bins but that means finding another flat spot for one.  I am very proud of the bins as they show how hard I worked this weekend so I will bore you with a photo of them.

An hour of discoveries

Yesterday the weather was just about warm enough for me to brave the garden for an hour – with plenty of layers on.  It was nice to get some fresh air and engage with the garden again after what seems like forever due to the bad weather and Christmas.

I was thrilled to discover the buds above on one of my hellebores.  I bought it 2 years ago on my birthday but last year it didn’t flower  so to see this amount of flower buds was a real delight.  I will leave the  old leaves on for a while to provide  further  protection for the bad weather that they are still predicting but when the buds are bigger I will remove the leaves  so the flowers are more visable.

I also tidied up what I grandly call the spring border.  This is just outside my living room and is easily visable through the French doors.  The border is  full of spring bulbs so  when we are stuck inside in the cold we have something jolly to look at – I hate January and February so  need all the help I can get.  I cleared away all the leaves that  had  fallen from surrounding trees and cut back  the perennials.  It was exciting to see that the bulbs had begun to emerge.

To add to my excitement – very easy at this time of year – I also discovered some young Mathiasella Green Dreams.  I bought this plant 2 years ago  and planted by the greenhouse so it would have plenty of protection. I needn’t have worried as the plant turned in to a bit of a thug and quickly filled the space.  On advice from Bob Brown of Cotswold  Plants I moved the plant to a more open area of the garden where it had plenty of space.  This was harder than it sounds as the plant had developed quite extensive roots and needless to say some of them remained in the ground.  I had talked to Bob about propogating the plant and he felt that the seeds weren’t viable and he propogated by tissue culture, hardly an option for me.  However, I have now discovered that the roots that remained in the soil have sprouted new shoots so it seems to me that the plant should be suitable for propogation by root cuttings.  Guess what I will be doing next week!!!

The hour in the garden might have been cold but it was well worth it just to discover these gems.

Blogging can make you a better gardener


Garden blogging for the last 18 months has really expanded my knowledge without me really realising that I was absorbing so much information.  However, I realised today that my knowledge has recently expanded even more since I started writing a week post on gardening for

I hadn’t really thought about how I would find things to write about  each week.  I suppose I just assumed that it would be like writing my own blog.  But when someone is paying you, you start to think that maybe you should make a bit more of an effort to write something coherent and useful.  On top of this I have to find photos to accompany my posts and they have to be my photos or ones I have permission to use.  This wasn’t so bad when I started back in the summer but with winter fast approaching I am beginning to struggle to come up with ideas. 

So my gardening books have been dusted off especially those that take you through the year and I suspect my garden is going to be the better for this.  This week I was at a loss what to write about. I had already done berries, autumn colour, grasses, planting bulbs etc.  So there I was leafing through one of my books and I came across tidying up the wildlife pond for winter.

Now I wouldn’t say that I don’t tidy up my pond but it is something that that gets neglected and I put off especially on a cold damp day.  But a photo was required so I set to taking a before photo of my congested pond.  I have some water forget-me-not which had taken over.  After an hour I was very pleased with how much better the pond looked despite the muddy churned up water.

Pond after tidy up

On top of this beneficial hour of industry both for me and the pond I also learnt from the book that I could overwinter my water hyacinths.  I hadn’t thought of this before but it makes perfect sense.  So I fished them out of the pond, washed the duck weed off and put them in a tub of water.  For some reason the book said there needed to be a layer of earth at the bottom but didn’t say why so I dutiful followed instructions.  The tub is now in my frost free greenhouse and I am really pleased with the idea that my water hyacinth will overwinter.


So garden blogging is actually improving my gardening knowledge which is quite funny as I am meant to be providing hints and tips – talk about learning on the job!!!!!.

You can access mine and other gardening blogs here

I have lost all control!


Argh – I have lost all control of the garden.  I know that in truth we can never control nature but even the illusion that I am on top of things has gone.  What with two weekends away, never ending rain, garden visiting with the garden club I have probably only managed about 4 hours in the garden in the last month and it really shows.


I just don’t know where to start.  Everywhere I look there is stuff to do and I almost feel panicky which is a completely alien experience for me in the garden.  As you can see I have loads of seedlings to deal with, about the only job I have kept on top of is potting them up as I can do this in the greenhouse when it is raining.


Because of the heavy rains plants have collapsed on top of other plants – here the Lychnis is smothering an Angelica giga so I need to get in there and do some remedial work.


The bank is in disarray.  There is bindweed creeping and twisting around, the Foxgloves need cutting back,, various other weeds need sorting.  Its so overgrown goodness knows what I will find in there.  I need to finish off the path along the top of the bank as well.


The pond is saturated with duckweed.  I have tried to keep on top of it by fishing it out regularly and using the left over treatment I used last year but as you can see I have lost this battle completely.  On a plus side I am really pleased with how the pond edging I put in in the spring has worked out.


I need to rescue this Ligularia which has been eaten to smithereens despite me putting slug pellets down. 


The monster Inula hookeri have to go as they are completely out of proportion to the plants around them and taking up so much room.  Must do that while the ground is still damp from all the rain.


This is a typical example of the disaster area that is my veg plot.  I just haven’t had the time to police it and keep on top of the weeds and to be honest I don’t think my heart is in growing veg.  As I have limited space I only get a small amount from each crop (enough for one meal) so it seems a lot of effort for a small return.  I am getting rid of the veg bed (she whispered so as not to upset all the veg growers out there) and using the space as a nursery bed for all my seedling perennials which I am passionate about.

So those are the worst of the bad bits.  It is now 9am, the sun is shining and no rain is predicted today.  Apart from taking my youngest to get his hair cut I have no demands on my time so I think I had better get on with it and stop prevaricating.

Pond in a bath


I am always looking for an excuse to increase the water in my garden apart from the stuff that comes down from the sky.  I have been thinking about having a small pond on the patio for a while now.  We have a reasonably sized wildlife pond which seems to be thriving if the size of the tadpoles is anything to go by but its up the garden and I wanted something that we could enjoy closer to the house.  I also think its important to provide lots of watering spots for wildlife.  They have quite a selection here ranging from a hanging bird bath to the wildlife pond.

The other weekend I took my sons to a flea market at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern.  I have to say it took alot of imagination to see this as the same venue many of us enjoyed in May at the Spring Show.  They have these markets fairly regularly and it never ceases to amaze me how many stall holders there are and how much ‘rubbish’ they have to sell.  I think this is an ultimate form of recycling and am constantly amazed at some of the things people buy.  Saying that I came away with a number of purchases including a tin bath at a cost of £18 (a bargain).  ‘Why’ was the cry of my mother who throws everything and anything away.  My response was I’m either going to use it as a herb garden or a pond.

The herb garden meant drilling holes in the bottom and this wasn’t very appealing at the time as it was quite warm so I went for a pond.  I have had great fun selecting some plants to go in it.  The waterlily is Perry’s Red Glow.  I know its not the smallest but I had to go with what was available at the garden centre and this one had the smallest eventual growth.  I also planted a Sagittaria japonica (Japanese Arrowhead) and a couple of irises (any excuse) and some good ol’ oxygenating weed.  I had to use some old house bricks to bring the marginal plants up to a suitable height and also some Malvern stone to make a landing spot for the birds. 

I am really pleased with the finished result – my only concern is that if we do indeed have a hot summer (I doubt it personally) then will the tin make the water too hot?  Hopefully the size of the bath will stop this happening.  If this does happen I will revert to plan B, put the plants in the big pond and plant the bath up as a herb garden.