While I am all about shopping, playing in makeup, looking at style catalogues, blogs, magazines, and all things girl, I can tell you I like to get my hands dirty. My favorite way to do this is playing in the dirt.
Growing up, we always had a garden and I never dreamed I would grow up and love growing things. As a child, we had to spend some time is the garden pulling weeds, dragging hose to keep the water going because of the hot summer sun; and, when the harvest came in, we would be picking whatever produce had grown. This was not too entertaining for a teenage girl! I would have much rather been at the pool with my friends dreaming the days away and flipping through magazines. I did plenty of that, but I did have chores. I can tell you, I certainly learned a lot in that garden and I, now, am thankful for the time spent in our backyard. Easpecially the time spent with my daddy.
Then in the early years of marriage, I had a mother in law that was a master gardener. She could grow anything. She, also, always had a garden. She had berries growing on a fence, she had a clipping of a flower she brought from another home and turned into a glorious floral garden, and she had roses like I had never seen. She could tell you the best way to keep weeds away, organically, of course, and she could advise the time certain plants needed to be planted and then harvested. She truly knew her gardens and she would even brings bulbs to my home because she thought I needed to grow them in a particular space. She even planted them….😉
As far as I was concerned, growing herbs was her forte. She took every opportunity to stick a stem of thyme in the ground and watch it grow. Her rosemary scented many rooms and seasoned everything. I think rosemary was her favorite herb to cook with. Vases of basil filled the dining table. She could make a glass of iced tea your favorite summer drink because of the mint and sugar…. (we are southern girls), and her oregano could perfect your spaghetti sauce because of its freshness. She was truly an herb artist.
It took me years to decide I wanted to give herb growing a try and I am not sure why. Most likely, my lack of knowledge, especially with her watching, delayed my efforts. Eventually though, I wanted those fresh herbs at my fingertips while cooking, so my interest was increased. Also, Southern Living magazine seemed to always have articles that intrigued and beautiful pictures. My love for cooking has always been a part of who I am, so herb growing just seemed like the natural next step.
I must tell you I made plenty of mistakes but can I really say “mistake”? Every plant lost is a lesson learned of what not to do. For me, the biggest lesson learned…. don’t grow herbs so far away from your kitchen you never gather them.
My husband has always had a garden so I planted herbs out in his garden spot and proceeded to forgot all about them. We have a fairly large lot and his garden is way in the back of our lot where there is more sun. This just did not seem to work for me. I never managed to get out there to pick fresh herbs while in the middle of cooking our meal. I talked with friends, watched a segment on Martha Stewart and decided to do some container gardening. My passion was birthed!!!Just like everything else at this time of my life, I want to enjoy what I do and not feel like it is a “have to”. I say this because my herb garden is not large, but it is perfect for me. I find much satisfaction when I pass up the $4.00 sprigs of basil in the store and come home to pinch a few leaves off my own plant and slice a tomato to go with it. I love to make my pesto for pizzas and pasta, and I love a glass of sweet tea with a beautiful pinch of mint floating in the glass. As Martha would say….”it’s a good thing”.
If you don’t find me hanging out in a closet this summer, you may find me with dirty hands. You may find me sitting on the back deck with a glass of minted tea or basil lemonade. Come sit awhile…we can talk closet cleaning or plan a shopping trip for your summer vacation.