Confession time: I am a plant killer. Not on purpose! They just...DIE! They just get all sad and wilt and die. It's not my fault. You what I think it is? Poor communication skills. On the part of the plant world, I mean. Did you know that plants can communicate with one another? Oh yes, their root systems and the root systems of fungus (mycelium) connect to one another like one massive chatroom. You can read an article about it here. That's so cool! You know what's not cool, though? Not telling me what you freakin' need to keep on living! Oh, you're wilting. Why? Too much water? Too little water? You're hungry? Gah! You can talk to your fellow plants about everything going on in your life like an teenager with unlimited data, but you can't tell me. Honestly, it's like you're suicidal.
Well, I'm pleased to tell you that things are looking up in this area. I have been successfully keeping several potted plants alive on my back porch.
Here we have lemon balm, sage, and rosemary. I'm quite a fan of the idea of having an edible garden. I can tell you from personal experience that oregano is not drought resistant--I may have forgotten to water it for two weeks while it baked in the Tennessee summer sun--and thyme is not a marsh plant--I may have also failed to notice when the pot stopped draining water after a post-oregano watering schedule began. I will say that the lemon balm needs to be watered more often than the rosemary. I nearly lost both the sage and rosemary with the dried out oregano, but they both came back beautifully! If the lemon balm goes too long without water, if gets really droopy, which experimentation has taught me because it's thirsty. Heaven forbid it ever goes limp for some other reason because I'll probably just water the crap out of it.
You know what really needs to exist? A website or app that allows you to enter certain data (average daily temperature, amount of sunlight, type of plant, etc.) and it spits out information on how often you should care for that plant (move it into the shade, water twice a week, and so on). If anyone knows of something like that, I'm all ears. Either that or my mum or grandmother need to come live with me because they are plant whisperers. I swear, they can plant a stick and it will blossom. I did not inherit their green-witch powers.
Anyway, the best part of this wittering is this: I have begun to make use of my edible garden. The rosemary is the most prolific of the three, and I cut off a lot of sprigs before I took the picture above. Those are now wrapped up in a towel and stored in a plastic bag in the freezer. I used a few to make a lovely rosemary simple syrup, which is an excellent coffee flavoring. I have also used some lemon balm leaves (about 5 or 6) to make lemon balm tea. It's supposed to be good at healing canker sores, which is why I made the tea in the first place (not sure how much it actually helped a ton more than time did...no data on that). The tea was lovely, though. Here are those recipes for anyone who is interested:
Rosemary Simple Syrup
4 to 5 medium sprigs of rosemary, rinsed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Toss all three ingredients together into a pot and heat over medium. Heat for about 30 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the rosemary sprigs have turned brown and wilty. The syrup will smell pervasively rosemary-y. I then add about a tablespoon to my latte to make a rosemary latte.
Lemon Balm Tea
5 to 6 lemon balm leaves, rinsed
Place the leaves in a teacup and pour boiling water over them. Let steep for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea). Then calmly sip.
In other news, I've applied for Dickens of a Christmas in Franklin, TN. I don't actually know when I'll find out if I get in. I'll, of course announce it if I do. I am also incandescently happy to announce that my formatting and edited for Out of the Shadows, coming October 28th, 2016 is done! I have reached the summit of that particular mountain, and the view is beautiful. It's all downhill from here!
Until next time, thanks for reading!