Thursday, July 31, 2008

Small Garden

cover of book For years we've wanted a garden. Alas, we are not yet blessed with the sanctity of Santa Fe homeownership, which would enable us to plant peppers, zucchini, and other vegetables. Fortunately, we have one and a half greenthumbs in our household, and we've been able to delve into the world of container gardening.

Unfortunately, the heavy winds and intermittent frosts killed any chance of fresh tomatoes this year. But we have local varieties of daisies and a pot of coreopsis, which always reminds me of Walter Mitty. We have several other pots of flowers whose names I can't even remember, brightening the eye and giving a playground to insects. Our jade plant is thriving in the sun after the long winter indoors. But my favorite items in the garden are our herbs.

We have some catnip, which when not being pilfered by the neighborhood cats, entertains my housebound rambunctious cats. We have lavender, which soothes cats and humans alike when the cats have had too much catnip and have torn up the residence. The basil is growing strong, good for cooking, salads and the big fall harvest when we make pesto with lots of local garlic and piñon. Summer is also a good time for the sweet Mojito mint. When the mint supply exceeds the demand for mojitos, it's wonderful in pasta salads, green salads, and homemade hummus and falafel. The lavender and mint are also great in sun teas.

Next year we'll probably try tomatoes again, and we'll certainly continue with the herbs. After all, it's very good practice for that day when we have a full-sized vegetable garden.

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