This website is a private project. It is a labour of love meant to help share lessons that I have learned along the way from my enthusiasm with herbs.
Please note that the Seed and Plant lists are not all inclusive, but are representative of the simple fact that my herb garden is in Nova Scotia, Canada. If you live in another province or country, there may be …and likely are … many good local suppliers that I have never even heard of. How do you find your best and most reliable local suppliers? A good start point would be your local garden club, who can start you down your own garden path 🙂
If you live in Canada, Richters is, in my not so humble opinion, the mothership for herb seeds and plants. I have been shopping from them for years, and to the best of my knowledge, they are the only Canadian compnay that offers such an all inclusive herb seed and plant list. Seeds can normally be purchased at any time of year, but plants are only available in the spring. Helpful Hint: If there is something special outside of the ‘garden varieties, folks should order sooner rather than later when the new Catalog comes out in January or February.
Richters have signed The Safe Seed Pledge.
If you live in Atlantic Canada, Veseys Seeds, along with their vegetable and flower selections, carry most of the ‘garden variety’ herb seeds one could wish for. They have been selling seeds and plants and farm implements for over seventy five years now and were one of the first companies to sign The Safe Seed Pledge.
Here in Nova Scotia, if one does not want to pay a shipping fee on their seed order, several farm markets and feed stores offer Vesey’s Seeds for sale in season. Some will even special order if the seeds you want are not in their display.
]Nova Scotia ‘Seedlings’
Concern about GMO food and seeds has been growing around the world in the last few years. As a result, here in Nova Scotia, there has been a real growth in small seed companies who source their seeds from ecologically sound farms in Atlantic Canada. Nor, I suspect, are such good companies limited to Nova Scotia. Helpful Hint – these days one of the fastest ways to find new startups is on Facebook.
.HERB GARDEN WEBSITES
There are so many lovely ones out there, but these have become favourites:
The Historic Gardens at Annapolis Royal
The Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens
The Alumni Gardens at The Agricultural Campus of Dalhousie
The Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens
Herb Gardening Books
In no way, shape or form is this an all inclusive list of all the great books about herbs that have been written over time. That being said, these are the ones that became favourites of mine:
Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs
The Herb Book, by John Lust
Gerard’s Herbal, edited by Marcus Woodward
Landscaping with Herbs by Nancy Ondra
Herbs, the Complete Gardeners Guide by Patrick Lima
The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy
General Gardening Books
Each and every one of the following books would be an excellent stand alone guide for budding herb gardeners and/or folks looking to learn about earth friendly organic gardening from the ground up:
Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
The Organic Home Garden: how to grow fruits and vegetables naturally by Patrick Lima
Special Mention – Carrots Love Tomatoes, Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening, by Louise Riotte
If you live in Nova Scotia
You don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way the winds of climate change are blowing. Our gardening seasons are growing shorter, eh? Twenty years ago, we were safe in setting out tender transplants by the Victoria Day weekend and now we are waiting until well after the full moon in June. Frosts are earlier in the fall every year too!
So you can imagine my delight in finding Niki Jabour’s book, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener. It is just frosting on the cake that this book would also be a marvelous guide for any rookie anywhere to follow!
By the same token
Our summers seem to be getting hotter and dryer! What does that mean in realspeak? Simply that we may need to change some of our gardening habits if we are going to adapt. Change is not going to come overnight here, but I have been dipping my toes in the very promising Permaculture waters with:
Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway,
Sepp Holzer’s permaculture : a practical guide to small-scale, integrative farming and gardening, and
The resilient farm and homestead: an innovative permaculture and whole systems design approach by Ben Falk