I’ve just joined a Garden Club. That is likely surprising – and humorous – news to many people who know me and know that I do not have a green thumb. About the only thing I’ve ever been able to grow successfully are herbs, most of which thrive on neglect. And they have the added benefit that you can eat them.

Although it wasn’t one of our reasons for buying the house we now live in, I was ecstatic when I saw that the previous owner had a lovely herb garden in the back yard. When we got here in March – which is when the first tiny shoots would start peeking through the snow in my Minnesota herb garden – many of the herbs here were already healthy and strong, including what I like to call a “Simon & Garfunkel Garden” of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. I was surprised at the size of the rosemary bush, as rosemary is a tender and fragile herb anywhere else I’ve lived. Here, though, it was already three feet tall and wide. It looked like a rosebush, but without the roses.

On the other hand, I discovered that tarragon, which has always threatened to overpower my whole garden (and possibly the world), does not grow well in the South. Apparently, it’s too humid for tarragon here. I understand how it feels. And I’ve never used much tarragon anyway, so I didn’t mind.

In addition to the herbs in my garden, I’ve got some in a hanging basket, as well as in containers on the deck and in a few small pots on my kitchen windowsill. The hanging basket was a bad idea, since I keep finding bird poop in it. The mint on the deck is doing well, along with a cherry tomato plant I snuck in among the herbs. The jury’s still out on the chives, basil, and lemon thyme on my windowsill. The chives are thin and spindly, and the other two are getting brown spots. I don’t know if it’s from over- or underwatering, over- or underfeeding, or lack of adequate sunlight. Maybe the Garden Club will help me figure that out.

I learned of the Garden Club from some of the women in our neighborhood who are members. They’ve assured me that I don’t have to be a Master Gardener to belong – although there are several Master Gardeners in the group. I’m hoping to learn much from them during our meetings, outings, and gardening projects. And who knows? Before long I may be growing not only herbs and tomatoes, but the beautiful flowers that the South is known for.

I’m really looking forward to that, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy them all. Even if they need plenty of attention. Even if they take some work to grow and maintain.

And even if I can’t eat them.

August 4, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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