Monday, June 6, 2011

Herbal Amalgamation

As I'm sure anyone who's been in Oklahoma for longer than five minutes, these relatively gentle balmy days are only a quick predecessor to our sweat-on-top-of-your-sweat summers. But hey, it's warm and things are growing and I like it. It's also got my mind on gardening.

[Update: When I started writing this post, the days were balmy, and now they are burn-y. Sigh. It came much too soon.]

In a previous post, I mentioned that Robert would eventually be moving and our garden's home base would be all for naught, so we decided to downsize a bit and put things in pots. It was a little disappointing, as we'd done plenty of prep work and agonized over seeds and plans, but I suppose it was a good introduction into the tenuousness of growing things.

But so far our container garden is going well! We have lots of herbs: verbena, apple mint and spearmint (care to come over for some tea?), chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, thyme, Thai basil, and other fragrant lovelies.

We also have a few tomato and pepper plants that we started, as well as some varieties from local vendors. We pulled in a good harvest of French market radishes: don't they look pretty?

When a storm's coming in (and there have been plenty) I like to group them together like a flock of little leafy sheep and hope they don't blow away. We've had good luck though, the worse that's happened is a few holes from hail, nothing too bad.

There are downsides, though. Sometimes the pots don't drain correctly or dry out too fast, plus there's limited root room. It sounds like the new property manager is down with our gardening dreams... as long as we share some of our produce.

I can't really put my finger on exactly what excites me so about all this. I'm sure there are tons of reflections on the sublimity of green, growing things and our interactions with them in the blogosphere, and perhaps I have nothing too original to say. But it's certainly something that's a very old thing to do, sort of like snuggling up in the wintertime or feeling exhilarated after a long run. I'm also looking forward to using the plants to fulfill needs in my life, like the need for a good salve, a cold remedy, a tasty meal, or a hair rinse. Somehow that just seems to be more whole--not even the fact that I've grown them myself necessarily, but that they're there, outside my door, picturesque but also full of amazing compounds. Maybe if people had the chance to think of the world as a garden or forest held in common instead of trying to escape our animalness and earthiness (behold my vocabulary!!) we would all be a happier bunch.

Besides, apple mint tea! Thinking of mixing it with raspberry leaf and rose for a restorative brew. I'll let you know how it is.

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