Posted tagged ‘Herb’

“A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.”

May 22, 2011

Most of my flowers and all of my herbs are now planted. Only the deck flowers are still in their pots waiting for a more permanent home. After everything was planted yesterday, I saw I still need more herbs for the garden, some for the window boxes, geraniums for the deck pots and more flowers for the front. After my dump run today, I’ll go shopping.

The weatherman was right: still no sun. The rain came last night which was good for everything I’d planted. The sky is gray and the day is still damp. The leaves on the oak tree are getting bigger and darker. Maybe they sense summer coming better than I can.

When I was little, I often presented my mother with a bouquet of yellow dandelions. She was always thrilled and made a big deal of putting them in a glass of water then on the table or the windowsill. She made me feel as if I had given her the most beautiful flowers anyone had ever seen. I remember buttercups and holding one under my friend’s chin to see if she liked butter. If she did, the yellow was reflected on her. I remember blowing dandelion puffs. The field below my house was filled with them, and we’d run through, grab a few, blow and let the wind take them. They always seemed to waft gently.

I don’t remember lots of flower gardens in my neighborhood. Most people, like my father, planted a few flowers in front and none in the backyards which were filled with clotheslines and a wide hill of grass stretched across the back of where all our houses stood. Lawns were the big thing. There wasn’t an acknowledged competition, but it existed none the less. My father mowed a certain way. Every Saturday you could hear the click clack of his mower as he walked across the lawn in the particular pattern he favored. None of us ever mowed. We didn’t do it right. We’d cut the grass, but the pattern was always wrong. My father had a beautiful lawn, but he was never the winner. Mrs. Burns always was.

“Laughter is brightest, in the place where the food is.”

May 20, 2011

Yesterday’s sun didn’t last long. It disappeared behind clouds, and later we had rain. Today, yet again, rain is predicted. The morning sun and the blue sky have dropped in to say a quick hello before their disappearance this afternoon. Gracie is lying on the lounge on the deck; Fern is curled in a ball in the sun by the front door, and I have the window open.

I’m going to the garden store today to buy soil and herbs for my window boxes. Last year every time I went on the deck I could smell the sweetness of the basil and the rosemary. I know I’ll fill my trunk as I have little self-control when I buy herbs and flowers. My friend, the gardener, gave me a list of new flowers to add to my front garden.

Planting always seems so hopeful to me. It acknowledges the changing season and the arrival of spring. I hunt recipes where I can just snip and add fresh herbs from my garden to summer dinners on the deck. The basil goes into sandwiches with tomatoes and cheese. The oregano is added to feta and olive oil, and the three of them sit and get to know each other for a couple of weeks then a miraculous spread for fresh bread is born. I can see the candles in the trees brightening the night as we sit and enjoy the bounty of my yet to be planted garden. The time is coming: I just know it.

Before I leave for Ghana, I’m going to cook an African dinner for my friends as a sort of farewell party. I know kelewele will be on the menu as it is my favorite Ghanaian dish, and it will be the first one I eat after my arrival. I’ll also make groundnut stew and find a substitute for fufu so my friends can eat with their hands the Ghanaian way. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten, but then again, I have a few months to prepare.

Well, I’m done. I can hear the garden store calling my name!

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