This blog is about my garden located in Melbourne, Australia, where summer heat and long periods without rain can make gardening a challenge. It is the gateway to a series of my blogs showing you how I deal with these conditions....John Ashworth 22/04/2017.
I grow flowering herbs because of their ability to attract beneficial insects to my garden. Bees are particularly important and many of the herbs I grow are excellent bee magnets.
I need bees to pollinate my fruiting trees and vegetables, and when they areabsent there are severely reduced fruit harvests or in some cases no harvest at all. (as I found to my cost when my apples failed to set fruit last year even though theyproduced loads of blossom).
Bees are not the only pollinators of course, and I try to grow a wide ranging variety of flowering plants to keep them all coming.
Herbs and other flowering plants attract predatory insects and insect eating birds, who keep insect pests under control as well as helping to pollinate flowering plants.
The links above connect to my blog on Growing Organic Herbs, it contains a comprehensive database, which shows how I grow herbs in my small suburban garden.
I usually grow herbs in my raised beds alongside fruit trees, where their ability to attract pollinators is put to best use. However some herbs (like Sweet Basil for example) are best grown in Ecobeds as companion plants.
Good companion plantings promote vigour and good health in both partners, but not all plants are good companions, and its worth checking this out before you commit to planting them.You can find a list of good companions in most pages of my herb database.
For megrowing herbs is more to do with replicating nature in my garden and keeping the creatures therein balance, rather than growing them for culinary purposes (although we do a bit of that too). It all seems to be working quite nicely.