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Monday, 26 May 2008

Vivacious Herbaceous

Herbs are apparently easy to grow, and yet the only two I’ve successfully managed are rosemary and coriander. Countless pots of basil have withered into dust and the parsley literally just disappeared over night. It was doing well for a while and then one morning the pot was empty, admittedly I can’t be certain it was overnight as I hadn’t checked it for a few days, but still, odd.

Initially I thought the coriander had failed too and then out of the ashes of the parsley a rogue shoot appeared. I had grown them in the same container and must have mixed one of the coriander seeds in with the parsley. To be honest, I’ve had mixed feelings about the coriander from the start. It’s probably my least favourite herb, but more importantly I didn’t think it suited the look of my terrace. First it just spread across the bottom of the pot, then the leaves started to turn red and I was attempting a white and purple colour theme… ha! Finally, one thin spindley stalk appeared, and it grew and grew just like Jack’s bean stalk. It’s now 1 metre tall. For some reason my boyfriend fell in love with it which is the only reason it survived my secateurs, and even that was nearly not enough to save it. But then a couple of weeks ago one stalk turned into 5 and they all seemed to spontaneously burst into flower, beautiful little purple flowers speckled with white. It’s definitely starting to grow on me.

My second herbaceous offering is the rosemary. Bought as an established plant it should have been plain sailing but keeping with the theme of the blog, I even managed to get this one wrong. Turns out the container was far too small so the poor thing became
pot bound . But this leads me on to my next dilemma. I grew a cutting of the rosemary in a glass jar of water until it began to grow roots, once planted outside it survived the winter but that’s about all it did, survive. So after the whole pot bound incident I decided it may help to put it into a bigger container. My sister in law told me not to, the logic being that if you but a small plant into a big pot, it puts all of its energy into forming a root system and growing downward rather than up. My mum told me to do it, and as mothers always are, she was right… it’s now thriving and almost ready to be plucked.

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