Season finale for herbs

Come August, the days are over when I can just grab a pair of garden scissors and cut a bunch of picture-perfect flowers for a vase or a flower arrangement. Late-summer bloomers like zinnias are often covered with powdery mildew. Sunflowers, which bloom into October, don’t survive the voracity of the rabbits unless I protect every single stem with hardwire cloth. And, I am not too wild about dahlias, asters, and chrysanthemums.

Roaming around I found that a bunch of herbs is the best I can do right now: mint, sorrel, lavender, lemon verbena, lemon balm, dill, rosemary, sage, and parsley.

The herbs are still a lush green, their last big outburst of energy before shutting down for the winter, or dying. Having supplied my kitchen with wonderful flavors and scents for the last six months, they indeed deserved to be the centerpiece on the dining table on this gorgeous fall day.

Dill for picking (not pickles)

Dill napkin ring

Yesterday I weeded the garden. The soil was like confectioner’s sugar. In this drought I do not want a single drop of the water that I am giving the garden every night to nourish the weeds. I intentionally left a big dill plant whose seeds I want to save. But now it is getting in the way of the nearby tomatoes so I decided to cut off some of the flower heads. They were simply too pretty and smelled too good to throw on the compost! So I stuck them in a vase. When I was having coffee this morning, I played with one of the flowers and turned the spike-like umbel upside down. It makes a beautiful napkin ring.