Over my cup of tea this morning I was reading some of the Blogs I’m following, when a photograph of Danny’s freshly planted baby basil just leapt off the screen at me. It wasn’t just that my brain sent immediate messages to my nose – oh the tangy, peppery smell of fresh basil, almost wearable, in my opinion – or to my taste buds, but that I was overcome with a terrible nostalgia to be planting out seedlings for a herb and veggie garden of my own.
Now, I’m not a seasoned vegetable grower, like my Papa, but I did learn from him, and took over his beloved patch when it became impossible for him to continue cultivating it himself. When time became too scarce for that, I did, for a few years, conduct a salad experiment in a pot near the back door.
Danny obviously had a problem finding a sunny spot in his garden – or perhaps he has only a balcony garden – because he was seeking advice about whether, in addition to his herb pots, he could also grow veggies in a pot. I was galvanised. I had to answer his question – immediately, and in as much detail as I could so he might achieve success.
And that excitement got me questioning myself, why not?. Now, you wouldn’t think that finding a sunny spot would be a problem in the tropics, but sunshine is anathema, and our houses are designed wherever possible, to avoid letting even a ray of sunshine in. The architect of my present house has scored an almost perfect ten, including siting the house on the block so that the garden too is shady. It is an oasis of relative cool, which presents its problems for the budding veggie grower.
Undeterred now, and fired with enthusiasm to overcome this obstacle, I made a pact with myself: I will be eating my own basil, and parsley, at least, within three months. Seeds? I brought a dozen or so packets with me from Australia – so I have a wide choice to suit several situations. And now I’ve completed my examination of the house and surrounds, and I’ve identified exactly which patches – a few square inches here, a little more there – will receive sufficient sun to allow for at least some success. I reckon I might even manage a tomato, though I’m not too sure about the cucumber, but I’ll give it a go.