Sunday, April 28, 2013

Patience, Seeds, and Herbs, OH MY!


Umm, ya know that *bug* that so many people get this time of year? The one where we all go crazy over seed catalogs, then when those seed packets arrive we make ourselves even crazier getting the first of the seeds planted. Like the diligent parents we are we watch them, hoping and praying for the buggers to sprout. Have you heard the squeals of excitement when finally after much love, watering, and talking to those babies, we wake up one morning to see not only have they sprouted overnight, but they've also managed to grow large enough for the transplant into their new forever home? Well forever for this season, anyway.

How many of you are aware that I am not a patient person? It's OK... raise your hand, I won't get upset. Yeah, that's what I thought...EVERY single one of you know patience is not one of my better virtues. So, instead of me pouring over the seed catalogs, waiting for the seed packets to arrive, carefully poking that little bugger into the seed tray and then praying with everything I've got for them to hurry up and sprout so I can transplant them, I cheat.

I spent a good amount of time a couple weeks ago with Jimmy, Tanya & Ravyn at our local nursery. This place has everything you could imagine and then some things you may be surprised to find on any given day. I went with the goal of finding 3 or 4 herbs that I use on a regular basis, and that is what I came home with... AFTER walking around the entire place looking at all the different flowering plants and thinking to myself *I'd love to have some of those, or those or even those*. (If only we weren't looking for a different place to live so I can get out of this black mold)... *sigh.

The last time I tried herb gardening, I planted too many together in one planter and the mint took over. EVERYTHING. This time I only bought the herbs I use more frequently and plan to add to my garden after we move. This is what my initial attempt at herb gardening looked like: There are 8 plants in this coconut grass planter. Back row: Sage, Lemon Balm, Mint, Rosemary, Sweet Basil. Front row: Thyme, Lavender and Lemon Thyme. And while it was pretty when I first planted it, it quickly got way out of control.

I honestly wasn't going to plant anything this year. I am SO frustrated with the inability to be as active as I was even last summer. And even more frustrated with the landlord's unwillingness to accept there are problems with this house and fix the issues. If he would fix the problems I'd love to stay here (well, not so much now. The nosy neighbors have 4 yapping chihuahuas they turn lose in their yard and refuse to control. And a young pitbull that has very easily jumped over their fence *it's abut 3 ft tall between my yard and theirs* into my yard. I panic each time I take Chaos and Calliope outside, scared that dog is gonna jump the fence and hurt one of them).
Anyway...back to the planting. First up is a healthy Rosemary plant. I LOVE Rosemary and you can usually find it in most everything I cook. The first time I can remember tasting Rosemary was our first Thanksgiving in MD. The turkey was baked with fresh Rosemary sprigs. To me the fragrance is energizing, and I've been known to burn the leaves in my cauldron much like I do my white sage. I love the feeling of comfort I get from the fragrance of Rosemary.

Then I chose a sweet basil. Again, I use basil in just about everything. And I don't particularly agree with the idea of it being a more Italian herb. I've been known to add basil to omelets, stews, pot roasts. I honestly add an assortment of herbs and spices to just about everything I cook. One of the perks of being a Kitchen Witch and creating magick with everything coming out of my kitchen.

I also decided on a cilantro plant, or coriander as many people know it. After living most of my life in Arizona and learning to cook authentic Mexican food, I cannot live without Cilantro. This is MY go to herb/seasoning and I am hoping that by having my own plant I can now stop rushing out to the grocery when I've found I used the last of it in what ever I cooked last night.

My last choice was a mint plant. During the summer months I enjoy making Mojito's. My favorite one is a knock off of the Mexican Mojito you can find at On the Border. Instead of using the traditional rum and liquid sugar found in most Mojito's, On the Border uses 1800 Silver Tequila and agave nectar. It gets a bit expensive to go to the grocery for mint. Viva la Mexican Mojito's!

That's all... just four plants this year. And I've already trimmed the mint and some of it is drying for storage. I've used quite a bit of the cilantro, and basil (oh! I forgot to mention I make a mean Bruscetta, LOL!). And I've clipped enough rosemary to add to the chicken breasts I marinated the other night AND have enough to *smudge* my Craft room. I DO have grand plans, but not for where we are living at this time. I'm feeling the need to *settle* and stop moving every 3 or 4 years. We have plans, just haven't been able to set the wheels on motion to have them manifest as of yet. Soon, Vickie.... soon.


  1. Mint is such an invasive needs it's own carefully tended space or it will take over, as you found out lol.

    I adore Sweet Basil, it is my favorite herb.

    I love Rosemary too. Last year, my Mom brought me a massive bag of fresh rosemary that her co-worker grew, he has a massive bush in his yard, and brought it to her. Well she thinks it stinks and does not like the taste, but she knows I do, so she brought me a gallon zip bag stuffed full with fresh sprigs. I immediately set to adding a few springs in the truck, under the seat, so every time we opened the door, especially after the truck had warmed up from the sun, we were greeted with the yummy aroma of the sprigs. ( it also repels insects that like to take up refuge in the air ducts and stuff, liker spiders. )

    Jack LOVES mojitos too! I think they are okay...they have a bitter aftertaste I am not fond of. I prefer Margaritas when I go out! *Giggles*

    I bought a Tarragon plant last year, because the plant had this ridiculous sweet smell that I was addicted to. I walked around the garden center snarfing that plant for the hour we were there. Brought it home, plucked off a leaf and chewed on it ( I had never had tarragon before, to my knowledge ) and promptly spit it out, as it tastes like licorice. I hate licorice lol.

    So I had a pretty plant that smelled great, but we could not use it because none of us liked the licorice/anise taste lol.

    I have not gotten any this year...I intend to get a basil plant...but not sure if I will be getting anything else yet.

    I loved this post! I love herbs. Thanks for sharing!

  2. {{{Vickie}}} I'm frustrated too because I cannot plant ANYTHING until we move and hope that it's not too late. So yeah, everyone squealing over their seeds and plants makes me jade with envy LOL!

  3. When you go out next time ask the bartender if they know how to make a Mexican Mojito. For some reason it doesn't have that bitter biting after taste. Somewhere here in the Monday Munchies is MY version of the recipe, feel free to try it if you'd like...

    Yeah, I'm not a licorice fan either... it just bites back. LOL!!

  4. Snowy, try a few small container plants. You can pack them in the backseat of the car and they should make the trip without too much trauma. That way you get your gardening on AND are able to move them when you go.

  5. Sweetie pie, I'm a plant catalog hoarder, so there is no explaining to do. I told myself that I would only plant one or two plants this year, and I already planted pepper, ginger, citronella, dump palm, some wild flowers and an oak--yes, an oak... indoors. S

    So... get your green on, and I'll just watch and enjoy!

  6. An OAK?? Indoors?? Really? WOW! I'm wanting a Mandevilla but it's too cold for them here and no way would it grow in MD. I've been told I can plant them in a large pot and move it inside when it begins to get cold. I may try that after we settle.

    Let me know how your Oak grows and maybe I'll get adventurous and try something out of the ordinary too.

  7. Thanks Amanda! Me too... Herbs seem to be about the only thing I don't far, LOL!!

  8. What fun!! I confess, I planted chocolate mint and spearmint at the edge of the back yard in retaliation to the neighbor who had her landscapers get rid of a bush that was planted IN MY YARD so she could spy on us in the woods. I did this last year and it's already invading the back areas of her yard.

    This year, I bought a bunch of heirloom seeds and a couple of plants from the local farm. We're growing some heirloom tomatoes, basil, tarragon, rosemary, lemon balm, borage, echinacea, peppermint, and a couple of others in pots. I have lavender, greek oregano, lemon thyme, blackberry, blueberry and strawberries planted in the yard. It's so great to have fellow plant-lovers around!