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Old July 30, 2018   #2
bower's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 6,599

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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