I finally identified the oregano that has tiny white flowers and pungent leaves for my cooking that was planted by the previous resident of this house. It is Syrian Oregano (Origanum Maru), also called Bible Hyssop referred to in this passage: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalms 51:7).
|Syrian Oregano flowers|
This herb, a member of the aromatic Mint Family, is used in many Middle Eastern spice blends and is key to the making of Zatar :
"In the Middle East, Origanum maru is often used, along with Conehead Thyme and Pink Savory, as an ingredient in the spice blend Zatar. While it is tempting to label a single herb Zatar and while, like the recipe below, a single herb may be mixed with other ingredients, Zatar is an herb and spice blend. The herbs in the mix vary from region to region, similar to curry. Zatar is often spread on bread or pita with a little olive oil and baked something like an herbal pizza.
The Rosemary was already growing here when we moved in in 2014. I have had to cut it back as it had spread so extensively.
Talk about spreading, I planted Spearmint from a cutting of wild spearmint from Juan Tomas Road in the Manzanita Mountains. The Spearmint (Mentha spicata), also called Yerba Buena, makes for a good tea and is a key ingredient for Rum Mojitos that I occasionally enjoy. The Spearmint has been blooming all summer and has delicate white flowers. I love the smell of the mint when I walk on it.
|Spearmint is very invasive spreading by rhizomes|
A hardy ground cover that I also love to walk on for the smell is also a useful herb: Thyme. I have three kinds of Thyme growing in my garden. The most hardy and fragrant is the English or Garden Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). It survives winter freezes, insects and infrequent watering and makes for a lovely green carpet of fragrant leaves. I often use this thyme for cooking.
|My English Thyme grows into a luxurious carpet of aromatic green|
|White flowers of Garden Thyme|
|Mother of Thyme|
|'Elegance Pink' English Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)|
|Salvia or Meadow Sage|
|Texas Sage or Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) has red or magenta flowers .|
Last summer I gathered the seeds from the spent Zinnia flower heads and this spring I scattered them pell mell throughout the lower garden. Now they are all blooming with a ferocious spirit to maintain their life force. Colorful and abundant, my husband especially likes the Zinnias.
I have Dianthus and Cat Mint, Butterfly Bush, Tickseed, Marigold, Rose and Gaura that are all blooming right now. The bees and hummingbirds have them to themselves since the butterflies are all gone.
|Butterfly Bush and Texas Sage|
|Dianthus smell spicy like carnations|
|Coreopsis | Tickseed|
|My 'Anna's Promise" Rose|
|Wild Morning Glory|
|Sunflower from bird seed feeders. The birds are eating the leaves.|
|Squirrels got to this one before I did.|
|Better pick this one before the squirrels get it..|
|Finally, some tomatoes for my salad,|
Three years ago when we bought this house, this is what the backyard looked like: