April 9, 2012

Herb garden





We're at it again. Maybe we shouldn't. I mentioned it here a couple of times already, neither one of us has a green thumb. Whichever plant we tried, it died.

And every Springtime we give it another try.
Right now we have lavender and Marguerites or white daisies on the balcony.
And herbs on the kitchen windowsill.

I changed watering strategies. Instead of giving them water a couple of times a week, I now soak every plant in a bucket of water once a week (for now) - until there are no more bubbles emerging from the pot, just as I was told by the seller at the plant store. And I'm feeding my plants coffee grinds, saved throughout the week in a plastic container, something I picked up from a lifestyle magazine on French TV.
So far, so good.

So, lately, we've been enjoying fresh mint on our cucumbers (with just a bit of coarse salt added - divine!), basil on our tomatoes. And I do like a touch of rosemary on a roast. I just try not to think of all the bad stuff in the air and the construction works around the corner in particular, when I'm savoring my insalata caprese.
We still have some space left on our windowsill - I might add cilantro, if I can find any, and maybe some parsley as well.
What's growing in your herb garden. Any tips or tricks?


ParisGrrl said...

I've seen potted cilantro and parsley plants on sale in the Monoprix this past week over on Ternes...cilantro plants don't tend to last a full season but it's worth planting some for the freshness factor. I love growing fresh herbs here too: mint, rosemary, and thyme are doing well for me this year, and I've got seeds out to hopefully add lemon basil, plain basil, some weird sort of oregano that I've never seen before, and camomile (that last one just because the plant itself smells heavenly). Some things that have helped my little garden here: using the potting soil with the little pellets in it that retain moisture longer, and adding a little capful of Algoflash Engrais Universel plant food (it's safe for edible crops as well as flowers, and Leroy Merlin and other stores carry it) once or twice a week to the water. If you don't mind the look, those watering cones that attach to cola bottles work pretty well too--Castorama has them, and they're great for when you're busy or out of town. That, and adding a calendar reminder on my iPhone for which days to water makes my plants much happier.:-)

Pascale said...

Thanks for the tips! As a matter of fact, I almost bought one of these cones this weekend to test. Maybe I should go back and I'll definitely get cilantro as we really love it!

Estrella Azul said...

The thing is, no matter what you do, they tend to die anyway in the winter, or if it gets colder in autumn already, so don't take it too personally :)

I have mint and chives.
You should give chives a try, that's very unpretentious and will do okay in the winter if you put it in the basement or something (plus you'll have the seeds anyway just in case it dies.) It loses its taste if you cook it, but adds such a lovely flavor to basically anything from pasta, pizza to chicken soup if you chop it and add it to your dish just before serving.

nicole/brussels said...

Ik kocht een Stevia plant en doe de blaadjes in een Moquito (zonder de rum) ttz, een longdrink glas,met één duim Pulco limoensap, dan spuitwater, een paar schijfjes limoen,drie ijsblokjes, een tweetal stevia en een drie à vier blaadjes munt gescheurd. Dan opdrinken met een rietje, echt lekker en verfrissend en no calories!!

Sue Schlabach said...

Oh herbs. So springy! Cilantro grows easily from seed if you can't find plants. As it gets tall, cut the tops so they don't flower. It will get bushier and you can keep cutting it over and over to enjoy for months. If it flowers it starts to get bitter. Enjoy! We're coming to Paris in a week and can't wait to see spring further along. The grass is just barely getting green and the trees are still bare.

Dalila said...

Since cilantro tends to bolt and go leggy with warmth, I recommend just planting lots of it over and over. If seeds are not easy to find, just try some coriander seed. It's so awesome when fresh!

kate said...

I tried an herb garden a few months ago and killed it. I've started again and just planted mint, rosemary, and cilantro. So far it appears to be surviving...but we'll see if I manage to keep it alive...

cucicucicoo said...

those photographs are just gorgeous! the same things i have on my own balcony, but here looks just so beautiful! on my balcony i have basil, mint, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, chives and terragon. definitely start chives! i use them a lot in salads and just raw instead of onions which often bother my stomach if raw. :) lisa

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