I failed to mention in yesterday's post that one of my neighbors is some sort of plant guru. They used to have an herbery and still have a greenhouse and spectacular garden. I do not know what is in their greenhouse and I suspect they have gotten to the point where they only grow for very select clientèle and are doing it privately and secretly so the rest of us hacks don't go asking for stuff.
She was out this afternoon, working in her garden as I tromped past with my brood - heading in to town for lunch (to ingratiate myself to the friend with the boat, if you must know). Something struck me about the way she was working. I do not work like that (at anything).
I plant at arms length. Crouch, poke, pat, rise, squint, repeat. She was sitting in her garden, surrounded by little plants, tucking them tenderly into very dark soil. My soil doesn't look like that unless I spill my coffee.
In the summer they sometimes entertain outside in their garden. Or they just sit in their lawn chairs with cocktails. Thy don't seem to do it in a "our garden is so much more inviting than yours" sort of way, which is what I'd be doing. They just seem to really like their plants.
I like eating my plants and I think they feel threatened which just taints the whole aura thing. My sugar snap peas are at this very moment cowering just beneath the surface.
So maybe I need to be a little nicer to my plants. A little less afraid of them. Maybe this year I will try some varietals (ha! a gardener term) that will make the vegetable patch more beautiful. Maybe I'll actually set up that table in a sunny window and start some seedlings in those little pots that gardeners use. Several of my sunflowers, after all, are not yet dead.
I'll start with basil because one can never have too much of it. It looks pretty planted between the tomatoes and smells divine in the sun.
And at the end of the summer I will again toss the lot of it in the blender with some pine nuts, olive oil, garlic & parmesan. Oh, yeah.