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Backyard Nature Notes: Planting a Healing Backyard Garden

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This year, I improved my garden and expanded from not just an anti-anxiety garden from last year to more of a more generalized healing garden.

So full disclosure, the lavender and chamomile I planted last year died off. I had to replant them this year. Since I’m home every day now, I don’t intend to let that happen again. I am able to be much more attentive with the watering and weeding.

I usually take a walk around the yard every day, and that will trigger me to care for them for sure. So far, they seem to be flourishing, which makes me so proud.

Let’s start with the book that made this all come to life.

I found this little gem at a work book sale last year. What I did was page through to figure out what ingredients were pretty prominent and in the recipes I really wanted to make.




I found that chamomile, lavender, and violets were in the bulk of the recipes. Sold!

So, those went on the list.




Then, I wanted a small herb garden for some of my favorite flavors. We were going to replant some of the chives from our old house, but someone dug them up, so I added those to the list.

So, that’s basically how I put my list together. I wrote down the herbs and flowers I intend on actually using for homemade beauty products and cooking.



Plant a simple healing backyard garden with herbs and medicinal plants


So, here’s what we planted for our healing garden this year:


Chamomile and lavender: both are calming and aromatic. Chamomile and lavender also have a myriad of medicinal properties (just click those links to read more). I’ll probably make lots of chamomile tea this summer and hopefully some fun lavender-scented natural products. I’ve never grown either of these successfully from seed. So, I would suggest buying them from a nursery and tending to (i.e. watering) them every day.



Asparagus: This superfood was already growing wild in a random patch in our yard. It just makes my heart so happy to have such a great healthy vegetable randomly popping up in your yard. It’s like my lawn leaves me little surprises;)

Lemon balm: This is one herb touted most for its anti-anxiety properties, but it has many other uses too. My plant came back nicely from last year. I still have some of the lemon balm tincture I made to last me through until harvest time.



Violets: I just had to get these because they’re edible and they make a great addition to handmade lotions and potions, like the ones in the book above. They also have many health benefits. You can do so many things with violets!

Elderberry: We were just about to leave the greenhouse when I saw an elderberry plant inside the store. I keep seeing elderberry come up in the Insta feeds of some of my favorite herbalists, so I was like “why not?” Once I start getting berries, I will research more about how to use them and what they’re good for. I know they’re very powerful for cold and flu season.


Backyard herb garden (all perennials):


Chives: we had chives at our old house, but someone dug them up. So, I was excited to find some at the greenhouse. We use these for everything. Scrambled eggs, loaded baked potatoes, potato salads, all the things.

Rosemary: I love how you can use the stalks as skewers for kabobs. We’ll be using this for cooking a lot.

Basil: Basil is another herb for everything. We’ll add it to soups, salads, everything.

Mint: I can’t wait to put some mint in my water! And I’ll probably make some refreshing homemade products with this too. Mint is great to have around and it’s so easy to grow. We also had mint at the old house, but one deep frost we had a few years ago choked it off.


So, this is where I’m starting this year. I don’t have a vegetable garden because I just don’t wanna. Haha. I’ve done all of that before and I just have no desire this year. There are plenty of farmer’s markets around here, so I have plenty of access to fresh homegrown food.

The herbs and medicinal plants, however, are harder to find. Which stumps me. Because they’re so miraculous and enchanting! Nature is just so freaking amazing! How come everyone isn’t growing them? Hehe.

Let me just tell you that I am not a professional gardener or herbalist. Far from it! I simply enjoy these green delights and try to keep them alive as best as I can. I just wanted you to know that so you know this is completely accessible to you too!

I’m not some guru.

These are not out of reach.

We could all use a little more green miracles in our lives.

So tell me, why isn’t everyone growing herbs and medicinal plants in their backyard? Because why not?

How Does Our Garden Grow?

With green pepper bells and pungent smells
and pretty white onions all in a row.


Earlier in the season, I gave you a peek at the planting of my backyard superfood garden. Sadly, we lost our cucumbers, but we’ve been getting quite the harvest off of our humble garden these past few weeks. In fact, one week, I was able to put together an entire week’s worth of salads for my lunches with my abundant lettuce harvest.



Our acorn squash is getting a little over-zealous. Oh wait, I’m the one who was over-zealous by planting not one, but two squash plants in our meager plot. I do that every year:) I know I pack too much in, but I just can’t help myself when it comes to fresh garden veggies.


This week, I’m having a whole week of stuffed acorn squash for lunches. I shared the recipe here. It was just sort of put together with some things I had around the house and the farmer’s market.

I could lose a Peanut in all those squash plants!

While we were gone on our Mackinaw City trip for a week, my father-in-law kept our garden picked. We came home to this ginormous bag of snap peas. I ate from that bag for days and days. It’s so nice to be able to plan my clean eating weekly menu with my own backyard grown produce. It’s going to be a great season!


We have this neat program at work where you can donate all those extras from your garden to local food pantries. I think this idea is genius! We’ve always got too much zucchini or too many tomatoes or a plethora of herbs in our backyard, so why not share the green love? If I don’t eat them all myself, I hope to donate some acorn squash to this cause since that’s what’s currently taking over our garden:)

Did you grow anything this year? What do you do with your leftovers?