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Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing. Today’s writer/gardener guest is Tema Banner who will be sharing her herb garden with us. Welcome, Tema!


Herbs are probably one of the first plants that a new gardener gravitates to, they are easy to grow and can be used on so many of the dishes we enjoy. Oddly enough, despite being raised by parents who had a large garden, the only herb I remember in our yard was mint. My father and mother would crush a few leaves and put it in their iced tea. Consequently, it was the first herb I ever planted. I listened to a wise gardener who told me to plant it in a pot so that it would not take over my garden or yard.  My favorite herb is Rosemary. I have seen it planted as a shrub in landscaping designs and thought it a smart move, it provides an evergreen presence and a clean, refreshing scent.

Several years ago, my husband and son made me lovely, raised garden beds and the herb garden was the first I put in. The nearest to my back door, it is a joy to walk out and snip basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and chives. Mint dominates two pots and last year I decided to try my hand at mint jelly. As an adult I rarely eat mint jelly but as a child I remember eating more than my share. One usually thinks of berries when making jelly and over the past several years I have canned strawberry jelly and last July added blueberry conserve and pie filling to the list. Why not try mint? It was a little time consuming, but how delightful to taste that first spoonful. I made more than we will ever eat. I expect it will make its’ way into Christmas gift packages.


I would like to say that the blueberries that I made into pie filling and conserve came from my own garden. Alas, of the four bushes I planted last year, two did not survive and it was determined that the soil was too alkaline. We are taking steps to save the two which remain by addition of peat moss, fertilizer, and coffee grounds. We hope to add blackberries to the berry garden as well as everbearing strawberries – you may be sure we have checked the soil to prevent further loss.


The joy and sorrow of gardening, always I am learning and growing. The plants show me what they like and do not like. Doesn’t that remind you of how we learn and grow as believers? We many times believe we know what is best for our lives and march right along and do as we please. Like me planting the blueberries in a spot I was sure would be perfect. I did not take the simple step to check the soil. We do not check with God or His word to see if indeed we are doing what is best, thinking we know. In my life, this has taken me to places of sorrow, loss, and regret. But God, our Father, Creator, lover of our souls, grows our roots into rich soil, even in the midst of our bad choices. He tends us with His grace and mercy, His truth and guidance the fertilizer we need to grow and flourish and reflect how great He is.

About the Author:

Outside of writing, gardening is my greatest pleasure. Planting, watching the metamorphosis of the plant from seed to fruit, it is a wonderful picture of how God works in our lives. I write Biblical and historical romance and am currently working on a Biblical fiction series, Daughters of the King. My website is www.temabannerauthor.com and I may be followed at Facebook or Instagram