Ordinarily, I am the very definition of a ‘Plant Killer’.
Don’t get me wrong, creating an edible garden has always come easy to me… It’s just the keeping it alive bit that I’ve never been able to master.
And I’ve tried, dear lord howww I’ve tried.
An obvious gift for me is an edible plant. I’ve received them numerous times over the years from thoughtful and well-meaning friends.
They always make me happy initially…But then the terror sets in.
Hidden deep behind my joy at such a beautiful offering a tiny bit of my soul dies, because I know this person has unwittingly signed this innocent plants death warrant by bequeathing it to my care.
It will die.
They always die.
I kill them with kindness by overwatering.
I kill them with neglect by forgetting to water them.
I kill them in the sun.
I kill them in the shade.
This post is actually starting to sound like a demented Dr.Seuss story…
I have given up on tomatoes.
This is hard for me to admit though, because I am NOT a quitter.
But I have literally tried EVERYTHING to grow tomatoes, and no matter what I do, the bastards hate me. They refuse to yield for me.
I’ve tried heirlooms. I’ve tried hardy everyday varieties. I’ve tried dozens of different cherries.
I’ve tried seedlings. I’ve tried mature plants.
For gods’ sakes, I even spent over a hundred dollars on those upside down tomato planters after seeing them on Danoz Direct. Amusingly (though not at the time…) a week after they arrived I saw them at Cheap as Chips for a fiver each. HAHAHAHA Oh dear shopping channel, how you lure us with your ‘bargains’.
I’ll never forgive myself for what I did to my beloved Birdseye chilli.
I was gifted a glorious little pot when I first moved out of home at 19. There it sat on the windowsill of my flat in the bright morning sun.
At first valiant and proud… But then over the weeks, it started to grow weary and tired.
I was at a loss.
I didn’t know what I was doing wrong? I loved it, I watered it. It had sun, it was protected… WHAT WAS I DOING WRONG!?
My mum came over one day and I gave her the plant.
“Take it!” I pleaded “I can’t watch it die like this”.
So my mother, who is an extraordinary gardener, took my little chilli plant and nursed it back to health. She loved it, and it loved her back.
But then, I wanted it back.
My little plant had recovered from its near death experience, and it was time to come home I said.
Mum was against it. She’d become attached and was fearful for its safety.
Rightly so too, because ultimately I did kill it again. But this time I killed it so thoroughly, mum couldn’t save it.
But with this all said, something miraculous has happened recently.
I’ve managed to not only plant, grow and sustain an edible garden.
But, it is actually going completely off the charts!!! (Apologies for the !!!, but I am so damn excited!!!)
My mint (a weed that will traditionally grow anywhere except my garden) is so amazing and fresh and green and abundant.
My thyme is perfection.
I’ve planted pineapple sage and it’s growing so well, I literally couldn’t cook enough dishes to utilize it.
Suffice to say, my dehydrator is getting a workout.
NOTE TO MY NEIGHBOURS: Feel free to visit with your scissors. HERBS FOR ONE AND ALL!!!
I tried my hand at edible violas, believing if I were to grow even 5 flowers it would be a success.
My garden is FULL of flowers. FULL. It’s just so pretty.
Rosemary, marjoram, strawberries, kaffir lime. Even my dwarf bay tree is flourishing.
I’m so happy! I’M SOOO HAPPY!!!
But then I’m left to wonder…what have I done differently? Why has the curse been lifted?
Well, I have set up a timer watering system for one. Never again will they perish because I don’t have time/forget/can’t be arsed to water them.
And this spring weather has been crayyyy-zy. Wet one day, sunny the next and so on, and so forth…
But finally, I think the garden gods have just smiled upon me.
I think it was just my time to experience the sheer unbridled joys of a glorious edible garden.
Or maybe it’s because I’m 37 this week, and people generally get their gardening stripes around middle age…
Who could be sure?
In any case, a corner has been turned.
My brown thumb is slowly turning green, and I can now accept Tahitian lime trees without fear of certain death… Sorry Jus and Kath, I won’t forgive myself for that one either.
Until next time… xxx
Recipe: Strawberry Chicken & Haloumi Skewers with Strawberry & Asparagus salad because, mint and strawberries yipeeeeeee!