hubby and i have lived in our house for a little over four years, and EVERY year i have plans to to have a small garden! without fail, spring rolls around and i forget to buy seedlings and then summer hits. (then again, if you live in the northern va area, you know that spring is all of a few weeks and then the summer humidity hits drastically!!)
the first year we were here, i was really good about having some pretty flowers out on the deck, and we even grew some peppers. the last two years have been a miserable fail! last year we even replanted the entire front area and because we went away a few times that summer the sun and heat killed our new plants in an instant!! (needless to say, we removed one side of bushes and have just left it bare this year and only re-mulched! for two people who certainly don't have green thumbs we aren't trying to go broke trying to keep the front of our house looking decent! haha!)
this year we decided to finally get our backyard done. our house sits on somewhat of a slope and EVERYTIME it rained our backyard would flood and just be a gigantic mess!! it also doesn't help that our yard didn't have any grass and was pretty much all clay! it got to the point during one spring storm that both our heating units were under water, and we KNEW we had to do something quick otherwise we'd probably spend even more money on foundation repair in the long run!! (ahhh the joys of home ownership!!)
the funny thing is, when you've spent the kind of money on a patio and having a backyard sodded and landscaped the last thing you want to do is dig part of it up to put in a garden!! so, the obvious instant solution is to just buy large planters! and again, since we realized spring had quickly come and gone, we were a little late to the game, but still managed to get some fresh goodies planted! and voila- this year we finally get to partake in fresh herbs and hopefully soon, fresh peppers and tomatoes!! it is amazing what a difference fresh, homegrown produce tastes like!! the other night i made pho and cut some fresh basil and cilantro, and for a very quick and basic broth the herbs made the meal!! sometimes when i plan ahead for pho, it takes me the entire day to make the perfect broth, and other times when we just want a quick fix, a very generic broth is made with the help of some pho flavored bouillion cubes...(hanging my vietnamese head in shame!)
in any event our basil is growing faster than we can eat it!! i'm constantly making fresh summer rolls (gotta try and lose these last 10 baby pounds!!) i'm running out of ideas on basil and have been giving it away any time i see friends!! i thought i'd get sick of it by now, but i haven't and i LOVE the smell of fresh basil!! unfortunately our cilantro seems to be down for the count! not sure if the last time i cut it, it just didn't grow quick enough because it looks as though some of the ends are pretty burnt from the sun. not sure if they will continue to grow, but i'm still watering them in hopes that they'll come back to life and fresh cilantro just makes a really awesome pico de gallo!
even though we only have a few things, i'm looking forward to NEXT year and what all we'll plan to grown! (even though i love american basil, i think next year i'll be growing thai basil) and in addition to the usual peppers and tomatoes, i'm hoping to get some cucumbers and strawberries planted as well!