Many common herbs, including thyme, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, and lavender, come from the Mediterranean region. Summers are warm and dry there, so the plants are naturally adapted to getting little summertime water. Soil that stays damp for long periods makes their roots rot. Providing soil that's dry enough is easy in Southern California, but it's trickier where summers are rainy. The solution: Grow them in unglazed terra-cotta pots that allow moisture to evaporate through the clay walls. Since herbs become gangly and need frequent snipping, Sharon turns the trimmings into dried herb blends, including a lavender and rose-petal mix for tea and a confectioner's sprinkle of Viola tricolor for ice cream.
Shown: Sharon uses her screen racks to dry flower heads, including rosebuds, lavender, violas, red salvia, and pinks.