Wednesday, 12 December 2007

How does our garden grow!

[Scroll down for updates on my garden]

I have long admired bloggers like Lucy and Wendy who cook with vegetables, fruit and herbs from their own gardens. When I was young, we lived on a large block of land in town and there was a fenced vegetable garden – complete with a scarecrow called Richard Scary. But our place is so small – just a little patch of concrete out the back. And I am not a gardener. My mum and my friend Yarrow have continually encouraged me to make a garden of sorts in pots (and even pulling up concrete).
On the weekend, my parents took us to The Greenery Garden Centre in Heidelberg and bought a lemon tree, a lime tree, and some herbs (rosemary and a bay tree). This is a fine addition to the mint and parsley my mum just brought us and the chives, sage and thyme which Yarrow gave us last year when we moved in (“Are you going to Scarborough Fair, Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme”)! Our garden looks lovely, so fully of hope and yet so vulnerable.

I feel a little nervous having young plants under my charge. I kept yearning after the fully grown herbs but my mother just laughed at me and told me to be patient. I guess the full grown plant is equivalent to buying Marks and Spencer frozen foods rather than doing my own cooking. But gardens require so much more patience than hanging around the oven for an hour.

I haven’t always done well with gardens. I recently found a lovely poem which pertains to gardens which is a comfort to me – a reminder that small and short-lived can be perfect. It reminds me of little plants that died rather than growing tall. I think it is no coincidence that it comes from the 17th century when people knew that life didn’t always resemble the glossy photos in the magazines.

Noble Nature
Ben Jonson (1573–1637)

It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night—
It was the plant and flower of Light
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.
 

This summer we have spent a lot more time in our backyard and the new greenery adds to the feeling of sanctuary and peace. I am a little wary of hoping they will flourish but having nurtured a few herbs over the past year has given me some hope. So I am tentatively looking forward to cooking with fruit and herbs from my own garden.

Updates on my Garden:
Update: May 2011

    6 comments:

    1. Thanks for the mention! :) I know what you mean about feeling nervous with young plants. I felt like I was in charge of babies!
      Richard Scary is a terrifying name for a scarecrow, btw!

      ReplyDelete
    2. Yeah Johanna! Growing your own, no matter how small, no matter how insignificant, is incredibly rewarding. It's a daily reminder of how important it is to be aware of the world around you. Some of my favourite gardens have been potted ones, set on concrete backyards in the inner city! Love the poem by the way. Beautiful.

      ReplyDelete
    3. thanks Wendy - Richard Scarry is actually an author of children's books that we loved so the name didn't seem as terrifying as it sounds

      thanks Lucy - I hope I might get to enjoy growing my own - already our little potted plants seem terribly significant because of the responsibility but also like you say because of the potential rewards

      ReplyDelete
    4. There's really nothing more satisfying than being able to poop out the back for a handful of fresh herbs for the pot.

      Perhaps you could venture out a bit and put in some basil, Vietnamese mint or coriander...

      I hope you've settled into the garden a bit more now, and that this rain is falling on your lovely pots.

      ReplyDelete
    5. thanks Kathleen - my plants are loving this rain - I would like to try basil some time and would love vietnammese mint if it grows as well as my mint. I am hoping to get some more pots but not sure when

      ReplyDelete
    6. This is great info to know.

      ReplyDelete

    Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)