Chapter 1: The Why

Welcome to Botany Factory. Where your secret desires to be master of your own magical corner of the globe blossom. Where mastering the art of ‘crafting green life itself’ is revealed. And your green thumb skills, having laid dormant, are awakened. Imagine you have become a grower of all things herby. Sauntering around your cleverly constructed, flourishing green paradise. Swathes of fresh scented leaves (miniscule but delightful) swishing in the breeze. The envy of the town. The gasped and ooed and aaaaed at infamous grower, admired by all and followed with a frenzy of fans. Ok so a herb garden may not be as stately as palace gardens, or as colourful as the Chelsea garden show. Its owner may not be revered in People Magazine. But it can be your own masterpiece. And you its content, happy master.

Gardens give wonderful gifts to their visitors. Not only do they provide a wonderful, nature filled environment but they also serve many different purposes. Herb gardens in particular provide aromatic delights for cooking or simply enjoying on a summer’s day. Even the smallest herb garden of only a few pots and plants can provide a wonderful bounty for its carer. Herbs, at their most basic, are practical, beautiful, and pleasing to the soul. There are so many wonderful ways to use them. In our eyes each herb plant has its own story, flavour, history – where it was planted, how it got there, how it is tended to (by nature or human) and so on.

At Botany Factory we focus on growing and using herbs because, well let us face it, there are many gardens to be crafted but none are as easy and practical as your own herb garden. The best thing about fresh herbs in your life and straight from your own garden? You can have a small grown at home herb paradise hanging off the veranda railings, catching the sunlight on its green aromatic tips as you sip a glass of your favourite something. You can plant them in pots of your choosing and make a fantastic feature upon entry to your great outdoor area, steps, or kitchen. Or just go totally nuts and get a flippin’ sensational vertical garden or herb planter to make the most spectacular sweet-smelling wall your world has ever seen.

Second best thing about growing your own herbs? The practical application to cooking.  Recipes, old and new, help us bring out the wonderful flavours of herbs in cooking. Transform your fast food and drinks (homemade quickly, naturally) into works of art. Snap off a sprig of fresh lemon thyme. Whizz past and nip a bunch of parsley on your way to the kitchen.

Throw a sweet just plucked bay leaf or a Frenchy style bouquet garni (a mixed fresh herb bundle) into your bolognese sauce and   feel European in an instant. This, my friends, is just the beginning.  When you find the flavors you love the most, on your favorite foods, you’ll wonder how you ever wanted to buy pre-made cr@p before.

Or why you spent way too much money on plastic boxed herbs from the supermarket, most of which went rotten in the fridge because you only needed a bit.

So why did Botany Factory settle on growing your own herbs as THE topic to be a blog about? Because finally I’ve found something that I can grow easily and enjoy! You see, I’ve been trying to produce a wonderful, flourishing garden since I was a little kid. I have two tiny energy suckers no (also the loves of my life) and finally my ‘gardening’ journey has led me to the glorious world of herbs. Like many I have a great love of watching garden and/or food shows like Burke’s backyard, The River Cottage Australia, and Better Homes and Gardens. However, I realised over the years my attempt to make fantastic gardens flourish in the South East Queensland heat was a little bit too overambitious.  I’ve also had a love of roses since I can remember (particularly David Austin roses) and felt that my future would include a job pruning English roses on a fabulous heritage listed estate in Europe.

Unfortunately my over excitement at tending to roses in the backyard peaked when I realised my pruning and tending to the tiny plants I had in pots was in fact stopping them from growing bigger than a fruit shop bouquet! I even walked the neighbourhood with a huge raffia hat and a wicker basket asking all the old folks if they could offer me one of their blooms and some gardening advice. I knew I was probably out of my depth when a 80 year old said you shouldn’t be using trace elements at your age. When I really think about it, anything garden related that included flowers, vegetables, flora for verandahs, pots, great far reaching garden beds etc I had a passion for as a kid.

Unlike roses, veggies, trees flowering things of any nature, growing my own herbs has, for me anyway, been a bountiful success. Aside from the abovementioned great addition to cooking and drinks (of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety), they are fantastic to look at. An easy to manage garden border / veranda feature / potted garden / vertical wall / you name it herbs are easy to grow. You can create simple dishes that have an influence from Thailand, India, United States, Australia, Europe… you name it! So I figure why not spread the love and share everything I can find both from experience and other resources about how to plant and maintain your own herb garden.

So, we hope you enjoy reading and find lots of useful tips on how to plant your own herb garden at our Botany Factory blog. If you have any comments, tips or recommendations based on your own experiences with growing your own herbs, we’d love to hear them! Also, if there are any topics with relation to planting herbs, growing your own herbs, herb gardens, which herbs to plant, companion planting, fertilising your herbs, and so on, please make contact with us through our contact form. We love growing herbs and would love to see as many friends as possible doing the same!