Harvest Thyme

Hi Friends!

Our hearts go out to all those whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Ian. The heartbreaking news reports and photos from friends remind us all of the power of nature. This continues to be a heavy time for so much of our world…

A peaceful, little visit among friends will do our hearts good.

Spending extra hours in the garden this week has felt so nurturing! Day by day, I have been noticing the color changes tiptoeing through the trees. Our shorter Autumn days and cooler temperatures are reminding us that change can be beautiful.

Our ‘Autumn Blaze’ Red Maple is showing off it’s ombré colors this week. Soon all of the leaves will turn a beautiful, deep, scarlet red.

It’s Harvest Thyme in the garden… a time that I always look forward to every Autumn! Yesterday I gathered baskets, twine, rubber bands, and my herb snips and happily followed the flagstone path to my Herb & Tea Garden. This raised bed garden, surrounded by a white picket fence, is truly the ‘heart’ of my garden. It always feels like the fragrant plants are nurturing me, as I care for them!

Lemon Balm, German Thyme, Greek Oregano, and Rosemary

I enjoy snipping fresh herbs and mints throughout the growing season for both cooking and steeping cups of herbal ‘tea.’ There is nothing better than fresh, homegrown herbs!

This week, I spent a glorious morning harvesting herbs to dry. I will dry some of them to use for cooking and herbal teas. However, my favorite way to use bundles of dried herbs is for decorating our home over the Winter months. I always feel nurtured by gifts from the garden!

Bundles of dried herbs hang along a wooden pole in our old-fashioned kitchen and tiny bundles of herbs hang in the pantry. I also love to tuck herb bundles into flower arrangements, baskets, and grapevine wreaths. Dried herbs and flowers hang from the ceiling rafters in my little Paper Garden studio downstairs, too!

Greek Oregano, German Thyme, Rosemary, and Lemon Thyme

I tied these bundles of herbs onto a vintage wooden hanger just to save space for drying. When I stepped back, I noticed how sweet it looked! Perhaps I will look for a place to display them right on the hanger.😊

Just recently, I learned about a clever, easy, fast way to dry herbs. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to try it out! I was so curious to see if it would work. Have you ever tried the ‘Subie Method’ for drying herbs?

It was an entertaining experiment…

Step 1 ~ I cut a bundle of fresh Greek Oregano and placed it into a paper bag. Then I folded the top of the bag closed. It’s important to use a paper bag so that the moisture in the herbs can pass through the paper.

Step 2 ~ I placed the bag of fresh herbs on the dashboard of my Subaru parked in the Autumn sunshine! 😊 I let the sun shine through the closed windows to dry the herbs. (Please do not attempt this while driving.😉) Most herbs should dry within one or two hours.

The Results…

It worked quite well. Since our temperature was only 68 degrees, I left the herbs in my Subie for almost four hours. I turned the bag over half way through the experiment. They were definitely drying nicely! The deep green leaves kept their color and shape. My car smelled wonderful, too! 😊

Dark rainclouds from an approaching storm ended my experiment too soon. I brought the bags of herbs in the house and the next morning they were completely dried! (I also tested a bag filled with Lemon Balm during this experiment, with the same good results.)

I look forward to trying the ‘Subie Method’ again on a hot Summer day. Next time, I won’t bundle the herbs with rubber bands for better air circulation. I will also dry individual leaves for tea. I will place a layer of paper or cardboard between the paper bag and the dashboard to help absorb the moisture, too.

My heart felt lighter as I hobbled to and fro in the garden. (I’m still wearing a special orthopedic boot as my fracture begins to heal. It’s feeling a little better this week!😊) Each time I passed my Subie, I giggled a bit as the solar power was drying my herbs!

Yucca seed pods, Rudbeckia seed heads, ‘Anabelle’ Hydrangeas

Next it was time to collect some garden gatherings to decorate our front porch. I filled an antique, wooden box with two tall, sturdy, spikes of dried seed pods from our Yucca plants. These plants grew in our childhood garden for many years. My mom, Darlene, gave me her Yucca plants when my parents retired to Arizona over thirty years ago. The Yuccas have rewarded us with spikes of lovely, cream-colored blossoms every year.

I added tall stems of Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ seed heads and dried ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea blossoms next. This Autumn arrangement is not finished yet, though! 😉 Today I will add a few tall stems of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy.’ This rustic arrangement will continue to grow and change throughout the coming weeks. I’m planning to add something new each time I wander through the garden. It will be a mindfulness practice focusing on gratitude for the abundance of peace and beauty that the garden provides us throughout the year!

Yet another reminder from nature

that change can be beautiful…

I thought you might enjoy two wonderful videos about growing and harvesting herbs. Relax and enjoy… with a cup of tea, of course!💕

🌻 Please let us know about some of your favorite Autumn traditions!

🌻 What’s happening in your garden this month?

Wishing you healthy, happy Autumn days, sweet friends!🍁

Perennially yours,



8 thoughts on “Harvest Thyme

  1. You are busy, busy, busy. I smiled at your car experiment. I’m glad it worked, and it brought back a memory. Back in the 90’s, a lady from our IT department carried her new spring plants around in the back of her SUV. She used the back of her car as a greenhouse of sorts. It worked, and she tended them during her lunch break. We, gardeners, are creative. 🙂 I have been fairly busy getting everything buttoned down. Last week I took out seven huge, and I mean huge, hosta plantings and replaced with some shrubs and other perennials. Time for a change. I have everything else taken care of except one tank of bulbs that I’ll do today or tomorrow. I have some other plants to be moved around once they finish with a septic project that has gone on a lot longer than anticipated. There is one more MG project this week that needs a couple of hours of deadheading, and then I’m done except for a a couple more deadheading projects here and planting some daffodils. It always seems like there is ‘one more thing’ to do. 🙂 Happy fall!

    • Just busy here with ‘gentle goals’ as I hobble around the garden! Judy, I LOVE the story of your friend’s greenhouse on wheels! So resourceful! Indeed, as gardeners we must be creative in so many ways.😊😊

      You have been SO busy, my friend! I wondered how your big septic project was progressing, Judy. Hang in there!! Today we are driving out to my favorite garden center. They display all of the perennials in outdoor garden rooms, planted in garden beds. Great for inspiration! I’m hoping to find a few flowering shrubs to add to my new Sunshine bed for more structure and interest. I have a little ‘wish list’ in my pocket.

      I covered a few tender plants during a light frost last week. We are expecting another cold night on Thursday. So, our happy days in the garden feel extra precious as the seasons change. 🌻 Enjoy every minute, Judy! 💗

      • That sounds like a wonderful garden center. The septic project is going into week 8, and yesterday they used a large machine and dug through roots of a huge oak tree. I was so upset, it took all I had to stay in the house and keep quiet. They only had one route, I got that, but to my thought they used a machine much bigger than they needed to lay the pipe. I fired off an email to my local extension guy asking if there is anything I can do or just wait for it to die. It’s not easy being a gardener. 🙂

      • Oh no! Eight weeks of digging throughout your yard, Judy!! I’m so sorry to hear about all of the damage to the roots of your huge oak tree.😢 I wonder if there is anything you can do to help the tree. It’s not easy! Other gardeners completely understand, dear Judy!
        Sending big hugs all the way to New Hampshire! 💗

  2. Herbs! My love language. And collecting dried plants from nature! And Dawn, that wooden hanger with the dried herbs ❤️❤️🥰. That is not only a great idea but it is so beautiful. Magazine worthy!
    As you know my garden life right now is a little thin and what little I was able to do only kept my plants barely alive in this terrible drought and triple digit temperatures. Then in mid August the spigot opened and we had 6” of rain in the next 3 weeks and temperatures dropped into the 90’s. Tomatoes and peppers and herbs burst forth and allowed me to have at least a moderate harvest. I’ve been busy making basil vinegars and Hungarian pepper relish (my mom’s favorite).
    My funny story happened out in the vegetable garden that I left empty this year. I compost all my kitchen scraps and usually bury directly into the soil of empty garden beds. Well I have a raised bed full of some kind of melons and a few tomato plants of dubious heritage, since the rains. I have no idea if any of it will survive long enough to ripen. It will depend on when we get our first frost which is usually the first or second week of November. We shall see.
    Loved this post and so happy that you can still be in the garden even if you are clomping around!
    Happy Fall to everyone.🍁

    • Oh, Chris! You are so sweet! We both understand the same love language, my friend! That lovely day in the garden was a perfect Artist Date! I found a special place for the wooden herb hanger in my Paper Garden studio. It looks so old-fashioned hanging on a beadboard wall. It not only holds herbs… but also warm memories of a lovely Autumn day in the garden! The arrangement of dried plants in the wooden box on our front porch is changing a bit each day as I tuck in a few more stems. Yesterday, I tucked in a few Sedum blossoms.

      Chris, at a weekend outing to my favorite garden center, I discovered a beautiful herb, Cuban Oregano. It was new to me. Such lovely, thick, succulent-like leaves! (Can be toxic to pets.) I transplanted it into a small crock and it is adjusting to its new home in our sunny dining room. I will propagate new plants over the Winter months. Have you ever grown this herb in your garden?

      So grateful for your much-needed August rains, Chris! I can just imagine the joy you felt as you made your vinegars and special relish! 💕 I really hope that your surprise garden will reward you with ripe melons and tomatoes before the frost arrives! On Friday, we are expecting a 34° night and next week a 31° night. So, I will pot up some tender herbs to overwinter in the dining room. (John calls them his co-workers since he is working remotely from from the dining room. I love to surprise him with new co-workers!😊)
      Sending big hugs to you and Jim in West Texas! 💗

      • I have not grown Cuban Oregano before. I laughed when I looked it up and half of the sites said it was toxic and half said it wasn’t! Isn’t that the way of everything? I probably won’t grow it in the house, Miss Tiggy Wig likes to put teeth marks on most of the house plants. I do think I will pot some basil up and put in my one bedroom with strong southern exposure. That’s the only herb I love that doesn’t last all year for me. Rosemary, thyme, mint, parsley, oregano and sage continue to survive all winter here. Also I am going to see if I can keep my Boston fern going for the third year. It’s so big and in a big heavy clay pot it’s going to have to live in the barn, so I can wheel it outside to water.
        Next week promises daytime temperatures in the 70’s. I will be one happy girl!

      • Chris, I read the confusing information about Cuban Oregano, too. Some sites mentioned toxicity for cats, dogs, and horses. I will just grow it as an ornamental houseplant. It’s just so pretty! They were selling all of the herb plants for $1.00 each at the garden center, just to find them good homes before the cold weather arrives. So, I couldn’t resist the chance to enjoy a new herb as a houseplant!

        I always dig up my Rosemary and Basil plants to overwinter in our sunny dining room. I enjoy having them inside all winter long! Your Boston fern sounds amazing! Enjoy your time in the garden next week, my friend! It sounds like perfect gardening weather! You will definitely be a HAPPY girl, Chris! 🌱🪴🌻

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