Living in the mountains at Lake Tahoe is a challenge if you want to play Happy Herbal Gardener. I've got a green thumb, sort of. Inside my home the philadendrons and ficus plants are happy year-round. Summertime it's been daisies and Boston ferns on the deck. But now it's time for change. Yikes!
The idea of fresh herbs have captured my imagination, nurturing instincts, and desire to put together an herbal garden. I called up a nursery and a friendly assistant manger told me that thyme, parsley, oregano, and mint and even tomatoes--all will do well. The sunny deck may be the perfect place to start. (The best part, Simon, Seth, and Kerouac--my furry trio--will not be tempted to snack on the upcoming garden; but not sure if raccoons and coyotes are really into the natural herbal thing). And so the song Scarborough Fair lyrics join me in my new adventure.
Today, the Langoliers (aka tourists are coming much like the Stephen King sci-film) are invading the town so a quick trip to the store (a new shipment of herb plants have arrived) is on the agenda. I've decided to inch my way into this venture. Translation: Purchase mint (my first herbal plant) and place in pot (two for starters) on the deck. And that's not all...
This weekend I will make a pitcher of herbal tea (my favorites are calming but bland chamomile, black or green) and garnish it with my first fresh mint leaves. It's simple. It's real. It's easy. I'm excited like a kid. Baby steps. The real new, improved herbal, plant, flower garden will begin in June. Uh-why wait? You never know what you're going to get with the weather at the Lake. Read: We can and have had snow in the summer. So step by step and I will start my first fresh herbal garden and treat it with lots of TLC...I can do this--I think I can. I think I can. (I so miss the Mediterranean-style climate of San Francisco Bay Area where I grew up and growing a garden is easy, breezy with a capital E.)
The Bonus: I will be able to use fresh herbs in the recipes in my books The Healing Powers of Olive Oil and The Healing Powers of Vinegar. Enjoyment will come from seeing the greenery on the deck and knowing fresh herbs (not the store bought lifeless stuff in tins) will be part of my all-natural Mediterranean diet (think fresh veggies, fruits, fish, pasta plates, spices and olive oil) and lifestyle. Here's a toast to herbal tea with my first taste of fresh mint leaves. Buon Appetito!