Saturday, June 18, 2011

Our Herb Garden

There is no way to describe how happy our little garden makes me. Since moving to DC, I've attempted an herb garden twice. My first time was with a few pots in front of the rowhouse I lived in on 16th and T street NW. Sadly, the herbs did not survive the rats that came to eat at the leaves at night. My second attempt was one pot of basil that I grew on a window sill. That one didn't survive the fact that I never transplanted into a bigger pot to fit it's roots.

So when Marshall got a pot of mint from the 14th & U Farmers Market to garnish his drinks, it triggered hope in me that we could actually have an herb garden this summer. We figured out the one corner on the balcony that got the most sunlight and moved around some furniture to accommodate "Bourby" (named after all the bourbon drinks the mint will be garnishing.) A few days later, I got a small pot of basil and a small pot of cilantro. A few weeks later, we had a pot of sage and a pot of lemon thyme. And then Jana from Cherry Tea Cakes gifted us with some oregano and sage from her garden. After picking up some flat leaf parsley, chives, and Thai basil from the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, I finally felt like we had a garden to be proud of.

Unfortunately, there has been one death in the family. Our cilantro plant did not survive our over watering. It was disappointing but after talking to Twitter, farmers, and friends, I found out that cilantro is a temperamental plant that should be grown from seed. I might try my hand at it but for now, I am happy with what we have. I've made pesto with the basil, have used the thyme to top a roasted beets flatbread, and the mint has been used for many drinks.

Most of the herbs cost us less than $5.00 each. The lemon thyme and the large sage was purchased at Whole Foods and were $7.99 each. The basil and cilantro were purchased at Home Depot for $3.70. The flat leaf parsley, chives, and the Thai basil were $2.50 each. The massive mint was $5.00 a pot. If these herbs last us all summer long, they will more than pay for themselves. My hope is that we will also pick up some Vietnamese mint, rosemary, tarragon, and maybe grow some tomatoes and lemongrass.

In the morning before work, Marshall and I water our herbs and talk about how they are looking. On the weekends, I drink my coffee out on the balcony and stare at them. I can say with all sincerity, herbs make me happy.


  1. Looks like you have a tomato plant there already! What variety is it? Can't wait for my real housing so I can garden!

  2. Congratulations! A bit of earth and some green things growing in it really does make such a difference.