Last summer, my fiance found himself inspired by the abundance of herbs in the aisles of Home Depot. He bought a planter, attached it to our tiny back porch rail, and filled it to the brim with green. There was basil, sage, parsley, and more, and we dreamed of eating fresh, herbaceous dinners all summer long.
Not two weeks later, every plant in the bunch was moldy and yellowed. What on earth was the problem? Was it the wrong kind of soil? Not enough light? Were the plants moldy to begin with? Our own ineptitude at growing? No matter the cause, there was nothing to do but get rid of them. We contemplated going in for another round, but our disappointment was too great.
It's a new year though, so when I saw these little basils at the Atlas Farm stand at the Copley Square Farmers Market, I just couldn't resist. They were so lovely and green, and I knew they'd been much better cared for in their youth than the wilted masses at Home Depot, where I have since noticed that the herbs are, quite often, covered in mold. (Lesson: buy living things at the market, not the big box store). Still, given my not-so-great history of trying to grow things, I was nervous about the whole proposition. But, I told myself, if I'm ever going to have a garden, I have to start somewhere.
The little plants lived on my kitchen window sill for a few cold, rainy days, but when yesterday dawned warm and sunny, I knew the moment of truth had come.
I cleaned out the planter, shown here with last years soil and some industrious little weeds. If only herbs could grow so easily!
The basils had some time to get used to their new home while it dried.
And then, voila! Carefully planted and watered, they busily soaked up the sun from their perch above the Astroturf. They look happy as can be, for now.
Now we watch, and wait, and water.