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Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

cedar grove gardens

This weekend, the hubs and I finally visited Cedar Grove Gardens, the gorgeous garden center that’s a short walk from our new house. I crave beauty, green growing things, flowers and feeling at home in the place I live, and our visit there provided all of that.

herb garden back porch plants

I now have an herb garden on the back porch, and I could not resist one more geranium. (Apparently “geranium, mint, rosemary and basil” is my version of “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.”)

geranium red pot back porch flower

I also crave welcome and safety (don’t we all?), and am thinking about ways to provide it for others, in light of the horrifying events this weekend in Charlottesville.

I am furious and heartsick and I have no idea what to say or do, but as Karen said, I’ll figure it out. Because we all must. Hatred and bigotry should have no place in this country, and it’s high time we rooted them out. We must (I keep saying) be of interest to each other, and act like it. Starting now, in whatever ways (small and big) we can.

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balcony garden update

The balcony garden is growing. I mean that in several senses.

When we left Abilene, three summers ago, I sadly parceled out the plants from my patio garden to friends: I knew they wouldn’t survive four days and 2200 miles in a hot car or a hotter moving van. The basil, tomato, white dahlia, red geranium, and massive “love fern” (from my sister’s wedding reception) all stayed behind as we drove north.

patio garden

Each year since then, I have bought a geranium (always red), a basil plant (we use the leaves all the time in the summer), and usually another herb: rosemary one year, mint the next.

I plant them in cheery red and terra cotta pots, and I step outside in the morning and evening, to water and deadhead and prune. They flourish through the summer, and then I bring them inside, nursing them as long as possible into the autumn.

patio journal time

The geranium above survived its first winter and bloomed even more bountifully in its second summer. I nursed it through its second winter, but by April I thought it had given up the ghost. I set it out on the balcony when the weather warmed, though I also bought another one (hedging my bets). Now – to my continuing surprise – they’re both blooming. I love the cheery red clusters of flowers and the leaves’ spicy scent.

My basil and peppermint have struggled this year, but a couple of recent heat waves have kick-started them. The basil isn’t at pesto-making volume yet, but it’s growing.

balcony garden 012

This year, my friend Abi and I split a flat of cherry tomato plants, and my three have shot up, growing leggy and producing tiny yellow blooms. Now there are actual tiny green tomatoes on all three plants. (I’m going to need sturdier stakes.)

green tomatoes balcony garden

We don’t have a backyard, so a row of pots on the balcony is as much as I can manage – but I don’t mind. I love watching the daily and weekly growth, the sense of wonder at a new bud or fruit forming on the stem. I love the little surprises that come from growing things, anything, all summer long.

What’s growing in your garden, or on your balcony or fire escape, this summer?

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I have a garden!

Red fiberglass pots: $15 each (x 3=$45)
Patio tomato plant: $6
Basil plant: $3.50
Rosemary plant: $3.50
Hand trowel: $4
Potting mix: $6.50 a bag (x 2=$13)
Red geranium: $15

Total cost for my patio garden: $90

Satisfaction in tending to growing things, getting dirt under my fingernails, having herb-scented hands, the sight of bright red geranium blossoms and making my own pesto [recipe from A Homemade Life] from my own basil leaves?

It’s early yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s priceless.

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