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Old July 30, 2018   #1
SQWIBB
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Default Why I love Oregano in the garden.

This is why I love having oregano in the garden, I interplant oregano in a lot of my beds, Bees everywhere, I literally walk through the oregano brushing up against the bees and they could care less.



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Old July 30, 2018   #2
bower
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Yup, oregano is a fantastic bee plant and butterflies love it too.



The common oregano is really invasive in my garden, so I would never dream of interplanting it deliberately in good garden beds, although I did try just reducing it to a hedge in one area, separated from the vegetable beds by rocks, and seems to have worked out well. It doesn't need the luxury of good soil, but seeds itself everywhere and will flourish even in gravel or the poorest thinnest soil, as long as there's sunshine. It produces a decent amount of biomass from literally nothing, and if left for a number of years it will create a beautiful dark rich soil underneath itself, so a great plant for remediating gravelly places such as laid waste by construction.
I leave the stalks in winter, where the seeds are pursued by little birds like juncos when they're left sticking out of the snow. And the straw in spring makes a compost layer that breaks down fairly easily in between buckets of fresh green weeds.
In summer too, if short of a layer to cover my kitchen scraps, fresh cut bundles of oregano make a fragrant cover for the compost heap. It regrows after cutting and makes for a second wave of flowers in the fall.

The preferred spice type I believe is Greek Oregano, it isn't hardy enough to grow here and may be less invasive elsewhere, I don't know. The leaf flavor of Common Oregano is not great, but the flower buds which are intensely purple make a wonderful herb vinegar.

And most of all... it's for the bees.
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Old July 30, 2018   #3
Labradors2
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Geez guys! I was about to rip my oregano out of my front bed where the guy who helped me to re-vamp my garden planted it because his wife likes it!!!! I took a look today and it's in flower and quite lovely I guess it won't be leaving any time soon...….

Linda
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Old July 31, 2018   #4
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I had an extreme dislike for oregano due to so called cooks over using it.
Then I started using it some time ago but in less amounts and started liking it.
It is something I need to start growing.
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Old July 31, 2018   #5
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The bees really love all of my herb flowers. It is amazing how many different types of bees visit those flowers. I have a big patch of oregano plus several other herbs. They love basil flowers too.
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Old July 31, 2018   #6
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That oregano is beeautiful!

In my garden there are all sorts on the fennel. Bees also like my garlic chives flowers and cilantro flowers. Even celery has its own gathering. I have a blue spires salvia that is full of bees in the morning. Recently I noticed just one single small bumble bee who seemed to be partial to tomato flowers going from one tomato plant to another in the evenings.
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Old July 31, 2018   #7
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I agree with most of what's been said, Oregano is a blessed herb in our household. Maybe because both my Greek wife and I grew up with it. That variety is pretty tough too, so you may want to try it Bower, ours survives just fine (Boston area). In Greece and Lebanon, it grows wild in the tall mountains which see a lot of snow and cold temps.

We eat both the leaf and the flowers, both dried, as Zaatar, the thyme like mix (along with ground sumac and sesame seed) that Lebanese folks spread with EVOO on thin dough (thinner than pizza) to make Manouch. Very yummy and addictive snack anytime.

Try this for a dressing: chop a bunch of leaves very fine, no stems, mix with EVOO and balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt, and drizzle over fresh cut tomatoes.

To Worth's comment >>> I had an extreme dislike for oregano due to so called cooks over using it.

Best to use oregano AFTER cooking, it's too strong and turns bitter when cooked, especially dry such as a pizza topping -or even wet in a sauce. Best to add it after, or in much smaller quantities if cooked.

I often pick leaves and munch on them when in the garden. Or just crumble them in my hands and smell the heavens.
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Old July 31, 2018   #8
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Maybe it would be hardy here! Johnny's says zones 4-9, not sure how that translates into Canadian zones but it's worth a try.
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Old July 31, 2018   #9
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Oregano and basil both have a calming effect on me! I can be tired, and shake the basil ( to make any bees move on) and put my face into the plant and just breathe - so calming and peaceful.



I used to make "dream" pillows with hops, basil and oregano in side for the scents.
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Old July 31, 2018   #10
greenthumbomaha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taboule View Post
I agree with most of what's been said, Oregano is a blessed herb in our household. Maybe because both my Greek wife and I grew up with it. That variety is pretty tough too, so you may want to try it Bower, ours survives just fine (Boston area). In Greece and Lebanon, it grows wild in the tall mountains which see a lot of snow and cold temps.

We eat both the leaf and the flowers, both dried, as Zaatar, the thyme like mix (along with ground sumac and sesame seed) that Lebanese folks spread with EVOO on thin dough (thinner than pizza) to make Manouch. Very yummy and addictive snack anytime.

Try this for a dressing: chop a bunch of leaves very fine, no stems, mix with EVOO and balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt, and drizzle over fresh cut tomatoes.

To Worth's comment >>> I had an extreme dislike for oregano due to so called cooks over using it.

Best to use oregano AFTER cooking, it's too strong and turns bitter when cooked, especially dry such as a pizza topping -or even wet in a sauce. Best to add it after, or in much smaller quantities if cooked.

I often pick leaves and munch on them when in the garden. Or just crumble them in my hands and smell the heavens.
My seed library had an oregano seed called Zaatar but I never got to germinate and thrive. I thought it was only an oregano variety. Are you using common oregano in a mixture called Zaatar? I just read a few descriptions of Zaatar and one used dried hyssop leaves. Some interesting possibilities here.


- Lsia
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Old August 1, 2018   #11
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Thanks for the reminder.

Russian Dill seems to be the pollinators winner this year, they love those big yellow clusters. Smells great too.
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Old August 1, 2018   #12
taboule
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Lisa, the term Zaatar is often used to mean one of two things:

1) the herb itself (both oregano and a different, thyme like variety of slender leaves, very similar to rosemary, see it pickled below,) and
2) the herb+spice mixture, as described above.

I've never used hyssop leaves and wonder what that may taste like.

And yes as SQWIBB said at start of the thread, it's such a pleasure seeing the bees and other pollinators, they're our friends, without them I'd have a much lesser garden.

zaatar.jpg
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Old August 1, 2018   #13
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Hyssop leaf is a quarter past rosemary on the way to pine. For me it is a useful spice in tiny amounts - it's part of the house salad dressing I made for many years, also dubbed "secret sauce" by our friends.
The plant is shrubby like sage, and suffers some dieback in our winters but is fine if you prune it in spring. It doesn't like to be crowded and needs a bit of weeding attention in my wild garden.
The leaves are great, but the flowers are out of this world delicious. I make a tincture in vodka, very nice medicine for sore throat, and of all the hyssop parts the petals alone make a taste that is truly sublime.
As for bees, one day I was out picking hyssop flowers into a glass bowl. The bowl was about 80% full when a small bumblebee came by and spotted the bowl of flowers. Without any hesitation the bee dove right into the bowl and submerged herself in the flowers. I could just hear some little buzzings and murmurings from below. I stood there for four or five minutes while the bee made its way through "heaven" I guess. And eventually emerged and flew away, with a tale to tell I suppose, if bees do tell their tales.
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Old August 1, 2018   #14
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I love to watch the bees act almost drunk in all the herb flowers. The basils would be alive with the bees when in serious bloom, and the bees would buzz hop from flower spire to the next one, making those good noises that meant they were really happy!
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Old August 13, 2018   #15
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Check out the green eyes on this oregano-sipping dragonfly! Sorry the tail got left out of the picture due to the fault of the photographer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg greeneyed-oreganolover.JPG (211.2 KB, 34 views)
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