Tales from the Garden – a new beginning

I notoriously have a brown thumb. I say this in all honesty. If one could be jailed for crimes against foliage, I’d have a life sentence. However, once upon a time, I had a lovely collection of orchids. Sadly those were prematurely taken from me as complained about here. Ever since The Great Orchid Theft of 2007 I’ve been contemplating starting up a collection of little green friends, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

However, now that MJ is a big girl of nearly 15 months and love running around in the back yard I have made it my mission to make it a pleasant place to be. I have high hopes of putting in a small back patio so that our patio furniture doesn’t sink into the mud each time it rains. The big Orchid Festival at the botanical garden is coming up in a week or so and I have every intention of restarting my collection. This time, however, I’ll be smart and keep my little flowery friends in the back yard in hope of deterring The Orchid Thief.

I decided to take my new project a step further this week. I planted an herb garden.

I love to cook. It’s actually one of my favorite pastimes when I don’t have a cranky toddler hanging off of my leg and a few years ago when we were living in Toronto I had turned a small and therefore practically useless room into a grow room. (No, not that kind of grow room, but *sigh* if only.) I had collected five different types of basil, three types of oregano, chives, rosemary, tarragon, sage, two types of parsley, among other herbs and tended them with near fanatical enthusiasm for the year or so I had my little garden. Nothing beats fresh herbs in everyday cooking.

So this past Friday my step father (whom I could quite honestly call a garden guru) drove down to accompany me to Home Depot to collect the necessities for setting up an outdoor plot. My poor little car couldn’t possibly have held all we needed to pick up: chicken wire, posts to drive into the ground, a shovel and rake, not to mention the herbs and potting soil.

We returned here where I put Miss MJ down for a nap and promptly headed outside. We proceeded to spend the next hour or so clearing a patch in the sunniest part of my yard and set up a chicken wire enclosure around it. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

I do have some grandiose plans. Right now all of my herbs are in large pots on top of the notoriously sandy Miami dirt (really can’t even call it soil around here), but this a temporary arrangement. Once I determine that I am capable of raising my plants without bringing about their untimely ends I will begin to cultivate the ground in the garden plot so that I can transplant the plants to the ground and get rid of the pots. I will, at some point (again, only if I prove myself not to be a murderer) make an attempt at some lovely jalepeños, perhaps some onions and who knows what else. Should my “‘useful” foliage survive I might even branch out into the aesthetic types, although to be honest, excepting orchids, I’m really not a flower kind of girl.

Sadly, I’ve chosen the wrong time of year to begin gardening. What? you ask. Don’t most people begin their gardening in the spring? Yes, I suppose they do… if they don’t live in Miami, the Vortex of Hell. Soon enough it will be too bloody hot to even contemplate going outside, much less spending an hour or more working in the sun. But, as I’ve already said, I’m not much of a gardener. Hopefully the heat won’t cause me to kill my new plants.


~ by CableGirl on Sunday, February 10, 2008.

11 Responses to “Tales from the Garden – a new beginning”

  1. New projects are always fun. Right now we have mint coming up and a great rosemary plant that’s getting big too. But CB has the green thumb, not me. I just look and go “Oooh, it lives!”

  2. Duck Duck tells me that Home Depot didn’t have purple basil. I’ll root some as well as a few cuttings of Asian thyme. We also have three varieties of mint that would probably do better as ground cover under a bush, as mint is a creeping plant. Congratulations on your gardening efforts.

  3. Good luck to you! I can’t keep plants alive at all! Sometimes I think that my children would probably die if it weren’t for the fact that they talk and constantly remind me they need to be fed and watered!

  4. The only green thing I haven’t been able to kill is the weeds in my yard. I love the idea of a herb garden… you have inspired me.

  5. Good luck with the new garden. The orchids sound great. You need to take pictures when you get them in.

    BlogHopping Around!

  6. Hooray! Good luck. I started with herbs when I thought I had a brown thumb, and they were lovely and forgiving. I still have some from my first crop, about five years ago.

  7. sounds like a great idea..

  8. Way to go. There’s nothing quite like fresh herbs. Besides, they’re such a pain in the ass to buy at the store – and expensive. If I had a garden, I would definitely do the herbs to start.

  9. You should talk to Mom & Ray for tips in gardening – they’re experts in it….

  10. You wrote, “Spring”, and I had to recheck the date up top! lol We are in the midst of a howling blizzard right now. We don’t plant until June 1. I so miss living in a temperate climate with fresh fruit/veg year round. Good luck with the garden. A thought crossed my mind about your new plants still in pots — if you are expecting it to heat up soon, you would probably have better luck if they were already planted. Pots heat the plants up faster and you have to water much more frequently. One day missed and bye-bye (see the little toddler waving so proudly?) to the new plants. My thoughts — from bitter experience.

  11. I am a terrible gardener as well. Your herb garden set up looks pretty impressive though! Some day I would like to take gardening seriously.

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