This post is for Charlotte.
If I didn’t love cooking or eating, I don’t think I ever would have had a garden of any kind. But when the prospect of flavourful nutrition is involved, I will happily dig my fingers into dank soil, prune, water, gush over new sprouts, and generally tend with enthusiasm to my miniature window herb garden.
This is my first year growing my own herbs, and I’m very happy with the set-up I have so far. I’ve got rosemary, oregano, basil, coriander, lemon balm, mint, and wild strawberries crammed onto my kitchen window sill, all of which I’ve purchased as seedlings from the market. Most of them are herbs that I use on a daily basis: I use lemon balm and mint for both hot and cold beverages and like to add them to veggie salads for an unexpected kick; I use basil for pretty much anything, but the main reason I wanted to grow lots of it was because I’m a nut for home-made pesto; coriander is probably my favourite herb, and I could eat it on everything, but its main purpose in my garden is to enhance the several Mexican dishes that I make regularly; oregano is my magic ingredient when I want to turn a simple pasta dish into something exceptional; rosemary is a bit of a novelty to me, but I’m learning to use it in roast dishes and with mushrooms; as for the strawberries, they were purchased more or less as a whim, but are doing surprisingly well – it even looks like I’ll be able to pick enough to make a dessert for two people! (That is, me and my companion.)
As you can see, I’ve made caring for the garden easier for myself by adding notes with caring instructions to each plant. I can’t remember where I got this idea from, but I certainly can’t praise it enough. If it hadn’t been for those notes, my muddled mind would have never been able to keep up with the individual requirements of each plant! (I was particularly tickled by those of rosemary: ‘Do not water and do not feed.’ Sweet!)
Of course, there’s a huge variety of edibles that you can grown on your window sill. My companion managed to nurture black prince tomato seeds – which he procured and dried himself – into 1m tall, healthy plants that are very likely to breed actual fruit. (Then again, this man would get a richly blossoming peach tree if he picked up a dry stick on the street and stuck it in some mud.) Next year, depending on how my current garden flourishes (or not, though hopefully not), I might expand the repertoire.
Because really, there’s nothing to it: a bit of soil, a bit of sun, and regular watering. Are you growing anything interesting in your windows or gardens this year?