Tuesday, June 5, 2012

..mary, mary, quite contrary..

My garden is growing quite well, thank you. We have finished the radishes, and have harvested some peppers, cilantro, and parsley. But I am getting ahead of myself.

parsley, mint, basil, cilantro
I felt I was doing so well with my gardening, that on a recent trip to a local nursery, I picked up more gardening goodness. Enter thyme, rosemary, 2 heirloom tomato plants (names escape me, and I don't keep those plastic tags), 4 pepper plants (2 red bell, 2 cayenne), rose geranium, dill, parsley, basil, lemongrass, and mint.
 thyme, rosemary

Initially when I started this container garden, I had planted 4 small pots with mint, dill, parsley, and basil. After planting my seeds, carefully fertilizing and watering them gently, I looked through the booklet that came with the seeds. I wanted to make sure that I was putting them in the correct light, keeping them watered just enough, in the hopes of enjoying a bounty of herbal goodness.Then I saw the expiration date. It was staring me in the face, all faded and worn. 2003. Crap.

 rose geranium.....smells heavenly

I remained optomistic. Surely some seeds would prove hardy enough and show me some love. And I truly thought that I had beat the odds when I saw small little leaves start to sprout up. I watched and waited, expecting these leaves to grow and change into leaves that were more familiar, more like the herbs I was anticipating. Instead, I got a lesson on what weeds look like. That is all that filled my pots....weeds.

do you see all those peas?
And I decided to start over. This is where my new plants come in.

 tomato and peppers
I opted for small plants, not seeds. After acquiring these herbs and vegetables, I carefully put them in their new pots. Success. No more weeds, or, at least, now I know what those mangy creatures look like. And all is well with my garden.

strawberry pot

I think the only other thing I will add to my garden is some cucumbers. I plan to put those in the empty space left by my radishes. And my peas? I haven't yet eaten any of them, but they are covered with pea pods. I am waiting until they are swollen just enough. I have a few tomatoes and a couple of peppers as well, but I am trying desperately to keep my girls from yanking these burgeoning fruits from my plants. What about my strawberries, you ask? Well, the plants continue to flower, and now that it's June, I think I will let them go (I have been pinching them off up to this point). The plants seem to be thriving, and a couple of the ones that seemed dead, have now returned, albeit much smaller. I hope to enjoy some strawberries soon.

more strawberries
It continually surprises me how much pride I have for this little garden. There is so much satisfaction derived from going out and finding something to use for a meal. Whether it's a radish for a salad, or some cilantro for a garnish. To me, it's far more appealing to turn to a patch of earth for my food than to the inside of a refrigerator. And as it turns out, the more I utilize the herbs and veg in my little "patch," the more it produces. Who knew? (Be nice, I'm still a novice).

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