Three must have plants

I was asked this question a while back: what are three plants you would grow if you could only have three?  Gee, that’s a hard question for me to answer–especially since I can’t even walk out of a nursery with only three plants.  How am I only going to grow three??  So, I think I came up with an idea: I will list three of each “type” of plant.

Scented

  1. lavender–I am a sucker for scented plants.  Lavender and I have an odd little relationship.  I do all I can to help it thrive in our climate.  Sometimes it rewards me.  Sometimes it doesn’t  I am happy with any sign of affection it will show me.
  2. curry plant–have you smelled this plant?  It’s in the helichrysum family with small yellow daisy like blooms when it starts flowering.  I don’t particularly want it to flower since it such a lovely little plant.  It has a mounding habit and with its needle shaped leaves, it is often mistaken for lavender.  And the fragrance!!  Someone is obviously cooking a pot of lovely and spicy curry–in my garden!
  3. lemon grass–smells great, good in teas and a natural insect repellent.  There are two varieties of lemon grass.  One is your culinary grass and the other is more ornamental.  Both are fragrant.  The ornamental lemon grass is very tough and grows to immense proportions!

Culinary Herbs

  1. basil–such a nice herb to have around.  I grow it every year.  My very favorite variety is Pixie Purple you can find it by following the link.  If you’re close to Mulberry Creek Herb Farm, I wish you would go and visit and tell us all about it!
  2. thyme–adds such great flavor to foods and is really simple to grow if done properly.  For those of us in the humid South, give it a head start in the cool of the winter.  The plant will really struggle if you try to start it in the Spring/Summer.  I also grow mine in pots.
  3. oregano–I have an enormous oregano bush that really thrives in the winter here.  During the Summer, it can get a bit leggy but the bees love the white mint-like flowers.  The winter time really shows off its intense green mounding habit.  My bush is about two feet across right now and has been separated many times!

Winter growers

  1. broccoli–such a luxury to have during the winter months–and a great source of vitamin C!
  2. cilantro–mmm…mmm…good.  For those of us along the Gulf Coast, cilantro goes to seed right about now so don’t bother to plant it.  I’ve heard of slow bolters and I know the large garden centers are still selling cilantro plants but do yourself a favor and just look.
  3. lettuce–such a small amount of work for a large return.  No way can we possibly eat all the lettuce that our garden gives us.  I end up composting most of it.  Even now, as it is going to seed, it has an excellent flavor.  Bees and butterflies are drawn to the yellow daisylike flowers.  When the flowers are at puffball stage (just like dandelions), the seeds are ready to harvest.

Summer growers

  1. tomatoes–rutgers variety.  It grows great here in the South with a flavor that is eat out of your hand-able!  Another favorite variety is Silvery Fir.  It’s a Russian variety with a silver cast and highly serrated leaves.  It’s a beautiful miniature plant and is great for container gardening!
  2. peppers–bells (any variety).   These peppers are ridiculously expensive in the stores and the flavor of a home grown bell pepper cannot be beaten!
  3. zinnias–leave it to these little flowers to brighten up any garden spot.  Mr. Hollis and Mrs. Alice sent me a large envelope from their beautiful gardens.  They reseed and are long-lasting in our temperate climate.

If you have any questions or would like further suggestions on plants, just let me know.  Either send me an email or leave a comment in the box.  Have a great gardening day!

Special thanks to Patrick for the topic suggestion.

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