Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weedy and Seedy

That was my herb garden this afternoon after a summer of near total neglect. Since it was merely in the mid-90s today instead of 100F, I decided to spend some time outside tending to my plants. Other than some quick harvesting here and there to make dinner, I haven't done a thing to the herb garden (or any of my other gardens) since June. When I went out to inspect the bed, I found overgrown untidy plants, with weeds running rampant, herbs all shaggy and gone to seed, brown or dead foliage, leggy and flopped over stems, and lots of spider webs and yard debris. What a mess!

It's fixed now, and looking a lot better. I should have taken before and after photos, but I'd almost be too embarrassed to post the "before" shot. As a reward for the hot, hard work, I harvested three big bunches of mint, thyme and oregano that are in perfect shape for drying.

I had some company while I labored: Moxy, on one of her first forays into the outside world (Zima was out there, too). Now that she is a year old and has had all of her "outside" vaccinations, we are letting Moxy join Zima as a part-time outdoor cat. We'll let her out while we are home to keep an eye on her. So far she is cautious and is not used to the heat, but seems to love getting to explore and experience new things.

17 comments:

LL said...

Mint eh? I smell mojitos!

fermicat said...

If only I had some rum... but it is Sunday and I can't buy any until tomorrow. All I have on hand is vanilla vodka and some red wine. Drat. :-(

magnetbabe said...

I hope you will definitely be drying some catnip for some winter entertainment!

fermicat said...

The catnip plant is looking pretty bedraggled due to excessive "kitty love" from Zima (and now Moxy). I don't think there's gonna be much left to dry.

I always keep a jar of store-bought dried catnip around. They won't be disappointed this winter!

dr sardonicus said...

Hey, guess what! We got rain last night!

[/gloating]

fermicat said...

It's cruel to rub it in like that... We're getting nothin' now. Not even a stray thunderstorm. We're back to watering the trees when we can (watering restrictions dictate days and times). They are stressed and dropping leaves like crazy.

I was the one who had to get up at 3:45 am to move the sprinklers to another part of the yard. Couldn't go back to sleep. Pure suckitude. Tired now.

ctheokas said...

90 instead of 100 huh? You know, it's 60 degrees here in the big city. 60 whole degrees. Yup, people are in sweaters and light jackets.

Of course, it is raining.

fermicat said...

Sounds pretty chilly for August. But... rain. *sigh*

Kathleen said...

If I ever put any effort into a garden, it would be in a permanent state of embarrassment.

Now, if you had basil, I'd be asking that you mail some northward. ;-)

Beth said...

I planted more herbs this year because of you. How do you dry yours? Any good tips? I have a bunch of oregano I want to do.

I have to cut down a bunch of black-eyed susans. It's weird. Mine look so crappy compared to the rest of the world's. There's are all clumpy and lovely. Mine are huge and leggy. I do have about an 8" sunflower this year. I'll be taking end of the gardening season pics soon.

fermicat said...

kat - I have three kinds of basil: lemon basil, sweet basil, and opal basil. What's your preference? :-) The lemon basil is wonderful on salads to add a touch of bright flavor.

beth - end of the season so soon? That is what I do not miss about living in the northeast. Even during the coldest part of winter we southerners have flowers blooming, such as pansies and violas, camelia, lenten rose and winter daphne. I used to have the same trouble with black eyed susans, but mine were all the wild variety. I think that the clumpy, bushy ones are a cultivar. Make sure you take a picture of that amazing sunflower!

The herbs I am drying are simply laid out on my kitchen counter at the moment. You can hang them someplace dark and dry. Mint and rosemary are hardy enough to dry on the counter in a few days. Once dry, they should still look "green" and smell nice. If they turn brown, toss them out.

TheWriteGirl said...

Fermi, I came across a new type of basil at my farmer's market last Friday - bush basil. It was the size of a small bunch of parsley, with teeny leaves. It sort of looked like basil gone to seed. The guy said that the flavor was more intense and told me to tear off a bit and try it, which I did. He was right! It wasn't stronger exactly but the basil essence was more intense. I made pesto with it and it was spectacular! I needed less sauce for the same amount of flavor, which meant that the pasta was a little less oily. If there's more this week, I'm definitely getting it.

fermicat said...

Sounds interesting. It's fun to try new varieties of ordinary plants, especially when they are edible!

Dave said...

I'm leaving the herb stuff aside, mine come dried in little expensive jars.

One, should you be exposing Moxie to the joys of what would be illegal for us humans, so soon after freedom? How much does a "quarter" of store-bought cost?

Two, isn't it time to write rather than comment on comments?

fermicat said...

dave - catnip is cheap.

And yes, I'm overdue for another post. I haven't been feeling well and have been napping in my spare time rather than writing. I have a few ideas rambling around my head. They aren't ripe yet.

Kathleen said...

I had no clue there were so many types of basil. I like regular old make a mozzarella, tomato, basil salad type. I am intrigued by opal basil, however, as that's my favorite gemstone.

fermicat said...

Opal basil is the purple colored kind.