Sunday, June 5, 2011

Herb Garden: The Bitter and the Sweet

The patch of earth beside my front door has always been problematic. Last year I put in a yarrow and Russian sage plant, threw some new gravel over it and declared it a xeric zone. The patch knew I was faking it as much as I did. It was, at best, a temporary solution.

We were supposed to create the huge vegetable garden this summer, but going forward solo, that was out of the question. So back to this little patch. It seems one of my many lessons this year is having the ability to go forth and create, but in manageable quantities.

Gardening is a wonderful excuse for indulging in control. In the inhospitable environment of the high desert, it takes more than desire to grow. It is not "woman vs. nature" as much as "woman working with nature." You really can't get around it - try to bully this land and it will bite back. Hard.

So back to the patch.

As much as my ego was screaming brussels sprouts, broccoli and eggplant, my wiser self acknowledged that perhaps parsley, cilantro, chives, mint and lavender would be more appropriate for an herb garden. A modest, serene herb garden.

One thing about herbs is that they are not so picky about their soil. There's a lesson in there, somewhere. After some time raking out what gravel I could, a handful of soil amender and the patch has now become a garden.

This autumn, I'll relocate the yarrow and Russian sage.

As with all landscaping projects, I always feel an amazing sense of accomplishment, as well as peace and a touch of awe upon completing a phase. A new feeling: bittersweet. Even though I am feeling pretty wonderful, I did find a few tears to help water this new garden. It's times like these the reality that we are pack animals hits home; and that life is best when shared. So I'll share it here, instead.

My yarrow called out to me this morning:

..and of course, it's water colored rendered cousin:

Oh - almost forgot - the sweet: Lemon Coconut Bundt cake for the party

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