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).
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.
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:
- Herbs in Dips
- Our first lemon 2008 - in tabouli
- Mint in Salad
- Kale in Soup
- Spring Garden - Sept 2009
- Blossoming citrus trees November 2009
- Garden update May 2010 - camelia, lemons and baby spinach
- Kale pesto and garden update June 2011 - our first limes, plus more lemons and camelia
- Photos of our limes from flowers to fruit to limeade, June 2012.
- Our first flowers grown from seeds in late 2012.
- Garden Update December 2013 - blueberries, tomatoes, lemons and limes
|Update: May 2011|