Saturday, May 1, 2010

Herb Gardens and Kilts (Oh you know you want to! :)

I don’t know about you, but I can kill flowers if I stare at them too hard. Some people, however, can get the goofiest shit to grow when and where it shouldn’t. Gardening looks complicated and hard and seems to be all about perfectionism. This is a gardening guide for the rest of us, the lazy, the uninspired, the ah-hell-throw-it-in-the-ground-and-see-what-happens, those of us who can kill grass with a dirty look. It’s not science or probably even right in many cases, but it’s what works for me.

The plants and region will typically be Midwestern, since that’s what I’m familiar with, and I’ll try to remember to note that for those living elsewhere. None of this is backed up by any sort of science or professional association whatsoever, unless noted. Most of it has been learned in the field and I’m still scratching my head over why the hell it worked. So, kick back, smile, and let’s start gardening.

As most of you might guess, I live on a farm so there’s plenty of space for our big vegetable garden. I detest flowers since they do absolutely nothing useful except look pretty and require work, but herbs on our farm are my special baby. I love cooking with fresh herbs and I love using them in home remedies. Instead of having them out in the big garden, however, I keep them in containers on the back porch for easier access. Container gardening is extremely flexible and you can plant in anything, old boots, bowls, wire hanging baskets. I’m boring and prefer the traditional clay pots. The key is making sure the root bulb has enough room in the pot. To get you started, here are some creative ideas for pots .

Some basic kitchen herbs include: basil, oregano, garlic, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, and sage,. If you want to give it a little flash and flair and home remedy action, also try bee balm, borage, mint, lavender, lemon balm, and penny royal. Over the next few days, I’ll focus on each herb in turn, along with some poetry stuff.

Speaking of poetry, anybody have any fav poets or poetic movements they’d like to mention or see covered? I just discovered poet Robert Service and here is his ode to kilts.

A Song For Kilts
By: Robert Service

How grand the human race would be
If every man would wear a kilt,
A flirt of Tartan finery,
Instead of trousers, custom built!
Nay, do not think I speak to joke:
(You know I'm not that kind of man),
I am convinced that all men folk.
Should wear the costume of a Clan.

Imagine how it's braw and clean
As in the wind it flutters free;
And so conducive to hygiene
In its sublime simplicity.
No fool fly-buttons to adjust,--
Wi' shanks and maybe buttocks bare;
Oh chiels, just take my word on trust,
A bonny kilt's the only wear.

'Twill save a lot of siller too,
(And here a canny Scotsman speaks),
For one good kilt will wear you through
A half-a-dozen pairs of breeks.
And how it's healthy in the breeze!
And how it swings with saucy tilt!
How lassies love athletic knees
Below the waggle of a kilt!

True, I just wear one in my mind,
Since sent to school by Celtic aunts,
When girls would flip it up behind,
Until I begged for lowland pants.
But now none dare do that to me,
And so I sing with lyric lilt,--
How happier the world would be
If every male would wear a kilt!