Monthly Archives: May 2008

As my garden grows (not a soap opera, I hope)

I’ve decided to replace some of the flowers in my patio garden with edible plants. We’ll always have the resplendent bougainvillea and the impatiens spilling out from everywhere, but I love the idea of picking fresh produce, no matter how small my garden is. I’ve started with seasonings, and already I don’t have to buy those when I go to the market (instead I stand there chatting with the Paramin man who sells herbs, and eat oranges, or cake, or whatever he’s offering that morning—not the home-made wine, though).

I now have three types of thyme, a spearmint plant, small leafed basil, purple and lemon basil, chive, pimento pepper; also a bay leaf tree in a large pot which I may eventually plant in the ground. So I’m starting small. When the seasonings are managing well on their own, I will ask Johnny and Susie for some more lemon grass to replace the plant Benton, the rabbit, ate. I’ll also get some sweet leaf from them; then I’ll do tomatoes.

Up to a couple years ago, many of the plants I touched committed suicide in a matter of days, but my thumb seems to be getting greener as time goes by. I don’t use any chemical fertilisers and once the plants get used to that, they strengthen themselves and do really well, with the occasional help of manure fertiliser.

My next job is to pot the new plants I bought at the market last week. Will keep you posted as my garden grows.

(PS: The UK Guardian previews the Chelsea Flower Show which opens this week in London. There are examples of gardens that can adapt to global warming—fascinating.)