The Herb Garden

I am not a gardener. The old saw about “black thumbs” doesn’t begin to describe my effect on living plants. I can walk past a seedling at the farmer’s market and it will wither in my wake. Perhaps it’s because I don’t enjoy gardening–I do the smallest amount of yardwork I can get away with. Then I whine louder than my son when somebody’s not sharing their ice cream the whole time I’m doing it. I don’t like getting dirty and sweaty, I don’t like working on my knees, and I don’t like insects (unfortunately, they DO like me).

My mother-in-law, who is a wonderful and sweet woman I am proud to call Mom, reads the White Flower Farms catalogue with the same salivary overdrive I apply to the Zingerman’s catalogue. She probably knows what those gardening features in Better Homes and Gardens are talking about–not only that, she probably cares. She’s the last person to put pressure on anybody, and that’s precisely why I feel pressured about the state of my property when she’s due for a warm-weather visit. She’s coming this week, so we fixed up the grass today.

I also planted my first-ever attempt at an herb garden. That’s right, I put in some rosemary, sage, thyme and French tarragon. I cleaned out a large, abandoned planter that had some weeds thriving happily in it (I have no trouble growing things that nobody wants to have around, apparently) and set the seedlings in there today. I’ve killed single plants before, but never have I subjected four sessile beings to my wrath at one time. Foolhardy or admirable? Who knows?

I’m posting about my fledgling herb garden in the hopes that it will help give me a much-needed gardening kick in the tush. I think I can handle a single container with four small plants it. Time will tell: is that what I get for thinking? Or is this the start of a beautiful friendship? And will my mother-in-law regard me with newfound respect, or go back home trying not to tut-tut under her breath? She keeps telling me that herb gardens are the easiest things around, but I know from experience that this doesn’t mean I’ll keep it alive…


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