Ok, friends, it’s time to turn my attention away from the things I can’t do and toward the things I can do. Yesterday I may have had a few teensy tiny moments of feeling sorry for myself. I’m dying to get things done and I’ve been told by my doctor, “If a piece of paper falls on the ground, you’re not allowed to pick it up.” I tried to spend a bit of time on the computer and ended up needed to take anti-nausea medication. (For those of you who don’t know, I’m recovering from a stroke and I’m trying to follow doctor’s orders for.) Knowing that, please excuse any grammar or spelling errors. I won’t be able to go back and re-read before pushing publish. I’ve found that about 45 minutes on the computer is my max. This is awesome therapy for me though. It gets my left hand working and makes my brain work a bit. By the way, a post-stroke brain constantly tries to spell knowing as noing, and computer as cumputer. Multi-syllable words? Don’t even go there. It WILL get better though, right?
So, here I sit, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. I wouldn’t really go out in this weather anyway, so I might as well do a little indoor garden prep. My friend, Diane, said she’d take me to Flower World on Friday. OMG, I’m getting out of the house and I get to have my doctor-allowed afternoon stroll t Flower World. Poor Diane will have to pull my cart and lift my plants, but she’s a friend who doesn’t mind getting dirty. Heck, we pulled a tree out of her front yard one day, on a whim, and she was wearing a skirt! Ok, back to the garden. We have a big “roundy-round”, as I call it, in our back yard. The right side is mainly perennial flowers. It gets quite a bit of shade from the big maple trees.
The left side of the roundy-round is used for my herbs and veggies. I divided it into 4 quadrants and this is my herb and lettuce quadrant. Sadly, this area has seen less and less sunlight over the years, as my neighbor’s tree has grown taller and added more shade to my yard.
This year, I’ve decided to focus my gardening efforts, in this area, mainly on things we really and truly eat and that I know grow well here. Every single year I try to plant corn and every single year my cousin, who is a farmer from Eastern Washington, laughs at me and reminds me that we don’t get enough sun on this side of the state. So, corn is OUT this year. For some reason, pumpkins don’t like my garden either. I plant them and the vines grow but I never get past the flowering stage. I’ve thought about going out in the morning and cross-pollinating the flowers with a small paint brush, but that seems like a bit more work than I’d bargained for. Pumpkins, you’re OUT too! I’ve given potatoes one last chance to prove their worthiness, but it’s now or never with those little guys. That means I’ve freed up an entire quadrant of my garden for more herbs.
We use a lot of parsley and cilantro at our house. I’ll plant about 5 plants of each. In addition, I’ll sprinkle some cilantro seeds so all of the cilantro won’t be ready at the same time.
We do eat a lot of lettuce, so I’ll plant plenty of that. I already found some Romaine starts this year and they are in the ground.
I love basil with all of my heart! I plant as much as I can fit in my garden. This year I’m thinking 5 basil plants in the garden and 5 basil plants in my planter up by the house. I cook with basil all summer long and my kids also love pesto. I think I made 6-8 double batches of pesto last summer. This year I’m going to remember to freeze some so we’ll have it in the winter too. I don’t buy basil starts until May. In the Pacific Northwest, basil will rot in your garden with all of the rain we get. I’ll resist the temptation to buy this when I go to Flower World… ok, maybe just one little plant that I could bring inside!
There are a few plants I put in my garden just because I think they are pretty. Whenever I run across white or yellow lavender plants, I snatch them up. I love the way they look. I usually put these in pots because they spread so fast.
My oregano, sage, mint, and lemon balm come back every year. I use those in cooking, baking, and in tea. I bought a few books about herbs last year and I’ve been trying to use my herbs more frequently in the kitchen.
Here are a few of my favorite herb books:
Happy garden planning!