Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I haven't talked about my garden much. I feel somewhat disconnected from it this year. One reason is the fact that, while Beloved and I scoured nurseries and found the plants we wanted, my son did much of my actual planting for me. I have been feeling very guilty about this... is it my garden if someone else's hands put the petunias in the soil? I'm not sure. I realize that my schedule has changed a lot this year... could it be that I'm now swimming and walking at times when previously I would have been digging and weeding? The only thing I planted were the herbs, which I am growing in pots. Thanks to Beloved's discovery of mushroom compost, they are stunning, enormous, taking over everything that stands in their way.

Last weekend I made a big pot of gazpacho. I love the old Moosewood cookbook recipe... very simple, just lots of chopped vegetables, tomato juice, garlic, onions and tons of herbs. Into the pot I threw thyme I'd grown, as well as basil and parsley. It was amazing. I'm not kidding. I impressed myself. I'm having the last of it today... a real summer delicacy. Last week I made a stir fry of beef into which I threw handsful of thyme, basil and tarragon, also out of my pots. It was amazing. The big delicacy among the herbs is something called pineapple sage. It's just what it sounds like... sage with hints of pineapple flavor in it. I have taken the leaves and mixed them with greens for a salad. Amazing, even moreso when I put fruit in the salad with them.

Another odd thing about my garden this year: volunteers. Most gardeners deal with these from year to year, but I'm a new enough gardener that I haven't had too many. Every year for about five years I had sown sunflower seeds along a fence separating my yard from my driveway, but they had never germinated... at least, not in my yard. This year, I gave up on sunflowers. So, naturally, seven enormous ones have sprung up... not along the fence, though. They migrated to the small triangular plot next to the driveway, where they form a kind of natural wall around the rest of what I did plant (or, my son planted): pumpkins. Pumpkins, lavender and sunflowers... this is the oddest little plot you'll find.

I told Beloved this morning that I'd like to run away with her for about a month. But really, I'd like us to stay home for about a month. I think the lack of vacation time so far this summer is catching up with me. Life at church is wonderful, very lively... but I long for some real time off, which I won't get until August. And though I get time off, Beloved doesn't. She is not in a position to be able to leave her business just now... staff turnover, transitions of that sort.

To run away home... that sounds like a sermon title, perhaps.


Songbird said...

Jacob thought so!
I love your story of the volunteers, and the herbs sound marvelous.

Jane R said...

Isn't that the name of a song?

Love the herb stories, and especially to hear you loving healthy and delicious food and being so creative. You sound like you are blossoming, just like your garden!

And we can't always do all the planting ourselves.