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the setting for my herb garden

I know I told you my next post would be about more of the upcoming trends from Paris, but it was such a beautiful weekend I did something so atypical, I had to share.
 
I got this hair-brained idea that I would like to have an herb garden or maybe some containers with herbs in them, so I stopped at my local Amish roadside flower, fruit and vegetable stand and found 4 that I knew I would love to cook with.
 
First off, I have to tell you that I do not have a green thumb and it’s been a joke in the family that my mother and I can kill silk flowers!  I just don’t have what it takes to bring something to life from a seed and watch it grow.  I either over water or under water or maybe just don’t speak the right language.
 
So I’m giving myself a second chance, or maybe a third, fourth, fifth………I think you get the idea.  Give me a bolt of fabric and a window and I can make magic, but give me a flower and it’s a death sentence for that poor little thing of beauty.
 
My husband has the green thumb, he just looks at something and it grows!  In fact, in the picture above, the roses to the left are a product of his tender affections.  His landscaping efforts are seen in all his rock walls.  It’s a joke in our family that in the 20 or so years we have been living here, these rocks have been moved around so many times that he’s going to have to start carving a date on them to see how many times they’ve made the rounds!
 
 
 
parsley in repurposed pail
 I love fresh parsley so when I saw it I knew I had to have it.  Instead of putting all the herbs in the ground for the groundhogs and other critters to eat, I looked around the house and the shed outdoors to see if I could put them in interesting containers.  A repurposing of sorts.  
 
So I found this old pail hanging at the entrance to the shed and because it had a hole rusted through, knew it would be perfect because the one thing  I do know is that the water has to drain.  It could never be used as a pail anymore so now it sits on my rocks with my parsley.  I still have the i.d. tags in the plants because you don’t honestly think I’ll remember how to care for them in a week, do you?
 
     

peppermint

 Next discovery was this peppermint.  I have visions of making ice tea with this mint as well as adding it to a great summer salad of couscous, scallions, roma tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, feta cheese and oil and vinegar.  Mmmmm…I can’t wait for it to spread out like the tag says it will do.  I originally bought this green planter thinking I would put three herbs together, but the gal that worked there told me this would spread out so I decided that I would keep the ugly planter for the mint and hope that it will spread OUT and OVER spilling onto the rocks.

   

English Lavender in aluminum water cooler destined for the garbage

 My next purchase was this lavender.  Let me just say I…. LOVE….Lavender!  I use the essential oil for massages, put a drop on my pillow at night, even put a drop or two on a rock I got while in Provence, touring a field.  This rock sits on a desk in my workroom and studio to help calm this gal down when deadlines are looming and the pressure’s on.  It soothes this savage beast’s nerves and turns me into a real pussycat instead of the roaring lion I feel like inside!  🙂

I also use it to cook with when I make beef or chicken dishes, mainly my boeuf bourguignon.  It was one of the herbs in my fresh “herbes de provence” I bought at a marché  while vacationing in the south of France several years ago.  I am now at the end of my jar so I think a trip to    St.Chinian is in order just for the marché and all the great spices I got that day.  I think I will make that the subject of a future post.  That was a trip of a lifetime that NEEDS to be repeated.
 
 While perusing my yard again, I found this old cooler that was used by guys on a construction crew because if my memory serves me, my husband found it by the side of the road years ago, and having a pick up truck at the time reasoned that if it fit, it was his.  His rationale was not always agreeable to what I thought should be left on the side of the road.  There was a reason someone was stupid enough to litter and we didn’t need to rescue every piece of garbage that “maybe” he could incorporate into his landscaping.  Another future post for sure! So I rescued this from the dumpster we rented and figured it would be great for my lavender!  Uh oh, is he rubbing off on me?
 
    

lemon thyme

 Next is this wonderful lemon thyme!  It was the first herb I discovered and knew I had to have it.  It has really pretty tiny pink flowers on the ends and smells so wonderful I am already dreaming up what I will be using it for.  My first meal will be an organic breast of chicken with a wonderful cream sauce dazzled with this herb.  I think it would go nicely with a white fish grilled on my baby Weber grill or even as one of the herbs I use when I roast red potatoes in the oven drizzled with olive oil! 

Oh can you tell I am really hungry about now?   

This jar was rescued by my husband years ago when his sous chef was going to throw it out.  At the time I thought, what do we need with a broken vase?  Well, 10 years later, I just figured it out! 

I got my idea for having herbs at my fingertips from a book I just finished reading.  It really was the impetus I needed  for geting this idea of mine that has been in my head for years finally out.  I have always wanted fresh herbs but I guess my bad experience with those Chia herb gardens soured me and I knew I would just NEVER be able to grow anything if I could kill even a CHIA pet!! 🙂

So thanks to Kathryn Ireland and her newest book, “Summers in France” because I thought, that’s it, enough thinking, I’m doing it!  So we’ll see if I can keep these alive long enough to be able to cook with them.  If I do, I will post pics of the meals I make with them and share recipes.

My setting for the herbs makes perfect sense as this is where I sit when I have lunch and dinner or just to take a break from the madness of my life.  So now while communing with nature I will also have the opportunity to watch my herbs grow!  Yes, that is a cat on the table along with my laptop.  This is where I am blogging at the moment.   At least one cat always joins me out here along with the birds. If I have success, I will treat you to some fantastics meals made with these herbs!  Bon Apetit!

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