Herbs and Black Flies

I had a few minutes on my way home today to stop by the local nursery, Red Wagon Plants.  If you like plants it is hard not to like a nursery.  This place is a good one–lots to choose from, right around the corner, everything is healthy and bursting with greenness.  And the folks there are friendly.  I had been thinking about buying some herbs, plants this time.  Starting from seed takes longer and I have to admit I have been ready to get cracking.  So I picked out a few small plants.

The woman who swiped my debit card in exchange for these plants asked me with a laugh, “Are you a good cook or do you just shop like one?”  It was a most excellent question.  My answer:  “I suppose that depends on who is doing the dining.”  Eighteen bucks allowed me to truck home rosemary, thyme, chives, and two sage plants.

I planted the rosemary right away.  We had a plant that made it through our first winter and then kicked it after winter number two.  It put it in that same spot.  It worked last time, right?  Then I worked on the chives we already have.  I use lots of them when we have them but I am always afraid of cutting too much.  I split that clump and replanted the chunk I dug up.  Then I planted the new one near it.  The thyme, planted next door to the chives, will complement those visually when everything grows bigger.

I saved the sage for later.  I had to make dinner.  This was a good dinner, by the way–black beans with red peppers and onions, some of those chives, extra-sharp cheddar cheese (is there any point to using any other kind?) wrapped in tortillas and baked golden brown.  It was not as fresh as it might have been but it was a winner.  The sage scented the air in its four-inch pots while we ate on the deck.

Later in the day, after the sun ducked behind the knoll and shadows covered the garden, I took up the hose with my daughter and we watered.  The black flies were out.  I had conveniently forgotten how hard it is to stand with the hose and water the garden when the small biting insects are hungry for the blood flowing through my bare legs. The kid didn’t stick around too long.  The price one pays for fresh food…

I watered the new herbs as well.  The sage still waits for tomorrow.  In a couple of days I will add to what I have planted so far.  The garden needs to be filled with seeds–too much empty dirt at the moment.  The onion and leek seedlings are waiting to stretch out in the sun.  And the melons will need lots of time to produce fruit.  Memorial Day weekend is the traditional time to plant hereabouts.  I’ll be taking advantage of that extra day.

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