Sunday, May 13, 2012

Confessions of a Serial Gardener

Hi, my name is Carrie and I am a basil killer.  My trouble with basil began back when I began cooking.  Basil is such a nice ingredient to have around and who doesn't like pesto?  So I decided I needed FRESH basil for my cooking.  I started small... A packet of basil from the grocery store every once in a while.  Those bad boys cost about $3 a pack and I felt guilty using an entire package for one night's worth of pesto.  But it got worse.  I would save a small portion of the small package thinking I could use it for garnishes and instead I would forget about it in the fridge and my sad fistful of basil would wilt and die.  Then I thought, let's go to the source and buy those happy little basil plants they sell at the grocery store!  Oh the carnage...  I would bring the plants home and put them in a vase of water and watch them die.  Half the time I wouldn't even have a chance to harvest one time before the sad little plant would kick the bucket.  So last year I moved on to buying a full on plant from Lowe's to plant in the garden.  The garden was a raging success and life was good.  I would go out at random and happily pluck the leaves as needed.  Sometimes as I gardened I would snap off a leaf and snack on it.  Oh the fruits of my labor.  So this year I eagerly went to Lowe's to buy my basil plant so that once again I could have a summer of delicious basil with a side of triumph.  I laid the plant out in a nice sunny spot in the front yard and went on my merry way.  This is Mother's Day weekend this weekend, so I was in no rush to transplant because this weekend is the traditional planting weekend in our neck of the woods.  In fact this year, I'm feeling even more ambitious so I want to have my herb garden separate from my vegetable garden.  I bought some terra cotta this weekend and spent the day transplanting all my herbs into the new pots.  When I got to the basil, what did I find?  It had been eaten down to the point that only a few stalks survived!  I know what you are thinking: rabbits, deer?  But no.  This was not the work of a wild animal.  Nope, our outdoor cat Milo has decided basil and dill are delicious.  So I replanted the sad remains of my basil and dill and only time will tell if I get anything for my efforts.  Sometimes I think basil and I just weren't meant to be.  He's an intimidating beast, no?

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