Category Archives: Perpetual Project

I closed on a condominium on June 22, 2016; as of that date, the home and its related items became a perpetual, years-long project.

First Harvest: Catnip

I’d been noticing over the last week that the catnip plant was starting to get a little out of control, but every time I was home it was either raining or dark. Fortunately, Mother Nature decided to cut us all a break and give us a weekend full of sun. That meant I was out on the stoop first thing Saturday morning with a pair of scissors.

Catnip leaves spread out on the drying racks

I ended up cutting away a lot of woody, leggy stems and throwing them out (along with a spider that had decided the plant was a good anchor for one of its webs). But there were enough nice, tender leaves among the trimmings to allow me to be picky about the ones I was going to dry. And picky I was: you can see here that I only chose intact leaves that were specific sizes, and that I tried to keep similar sizes together.

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Starting Herb Garden 2.0

2017 Herb Garden v 1.0

Herb Garden Attempt #1

Earlier this year, almost on a whim, I dropped by one of those insidious home & garden stores to pick up a single plant for a planter I’d been gifted as a housewarming present. I walked out with two extra pots and three plants: catnip, Greek oregano and lemon thyme. A week later I went back for three more: peppermint, chocolate mint and sweet basil. I was excited and looking forward to having fresh herbs to cook with later this summer and into the fall; I even got a dehydrator for preservation.

Unfortunately, during the next four weeks we got constant rain. The oregano and thyme drowned. I was able to save the other four, but then I went out of town for a week and forgot to make arrangements to get them watered. I was hopeful enough to water the plants that were lying on the ground when I got back, but then, two days later, we got torrential thunderstorms.

2017 Herb Garden v 2.0

Herb Garden Attempt #2

The catnip, which is in a coco fiber liner in the planter, was the only one that made it.

Such is life, I suppose, and there’s a lesson to be learned here: self-watering plant containers can and do clog and overflow, and even plant containers that claim not to need drainage holes…do. It’s a newbie mistake, but hey, this is my first real garden attempt as an adult and, in my own defense, I had followed the instructions I’d been given.

So yesterday I cleaned up the mess that used to be an herb garden; and then sucked it up and trekked back over to the store to pick up five more plants. And this time, the containers got drainage holes in them. Hopefully Herb Garden 2.0 will be more successful than the first, especially since I’m not planning on traveling out of town again for the rest of the summer!