Sunday, July 7, 2013

My fresh herb garden.

I've been indulging myself with starting basil plants from cuttings.   It is totally amazing to me how easy it is to make new basil plants, and to think I learned how to do this accidentally.

I'd bought some fresh basil, and when I didn't use all of it, I decided to stick the last couple of shoots in a shot glass with water to keep them fresh.  Well, a couple of days later, I saw roots forming and decided to go ahead and plant it.  The next thing I knew I had a large healthy plant.  And I had handfuls of basil to use.  In fact I had so much, I started giving it away.  Until the winter killed it, well sorta. 

But one plant struggled on, and on and I finally put it out of its misery and harvested the last two shoots and rooted them and I now have some baby basil plants going again.  The parent plant, it's got some shoots coming up from the roots again.  

I also bought some Thai basil last week for a recipe and ended up not using more than a couple of pieces so, they are now in some water, and hopefully I will see some roots from them soon. (as of this writing, I see roots coming out on two of the pieces). 
My fresh herb garden

I also have a lovely Rosemary plant which was doing really well, until it started raining again.   I had a lovely large one last year, but it drowned.  This year (it's monsoon season here), I'm keeping it under cover for awhile.   I really don't want to be responsible for another Rosemary drowning.  

My mint plant was doing really well and taking over the windowsill in my office, but it was so leggy looking I took it outside and that kinda shocked it.  But it's finally coming back.  I cut it back almost completely, and yes, I did use the mint cuttings in a recipe.   

My poor chive plant almost expired, in fact I thought it was a goner, but I pulled all the pine needles out of the pot and it looks like it might recover.   But just in case, I bought another chive plant and I have it going now.   It got a little waterlogged last week, and I now have it hiding under the table along with the rosemary and my christmas cactus.

I also have a couple of  parsley plants, which I started from seed a few years ago.   They were doing really well when we were living at the beach until one day I came out and found these guys covering the plant.

  I didn't want to kill them, so every day I would go out and nip off the shoot with the caterpillar on it, and place it away from the plant.  And every day I would find more of these.I had no idea what they were but found out they were swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.  So, every year now I assume my parsley will be eaten.  I actually went and bought another plant this year so I could have parsley.   Hint:   If you mince up fresh parsley and freeze it, you can use it as you would fresh parsley in many recipes.  Get that nice fresh 'burst' of flavour and none of that dried kind of 'off' taste.  But then again, dried is better than not having any.

Now if you excuse me.  The big parsley plant outside has bolted and I want to go harvest some of it so I can freeze them.   I was also thinking of chopping up some of the basil and freezing it in some olive oil so I can use it in spaghetti sauce later on. 

At the moment it's sunny so I guess I will go get the plants out from under the table and let them get some sunshine.   My poor pepper plants are pale and anemic looking, the tomatoes look rather the worse for wear but the Meyer Lemon tree and the Tangerine are going strong.   All of them need some food, with over 6 inches of rain in the past few days, the soil is not only waterlogged, but all the nutrients have been washed out.

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. I had those same caterpillars in my parsley plant. It got completely eaten up but it's finally making a come-back now.

    1. Both my parsley plants have been eaten down to the roots, but that's OK, the swallowtail butterflies are so pretty. And the plants are coming back, slowly. I should have fresh parsley again in a couple of weeks.


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