some guys named herb

This year, Kansas City got hot. Fast. We’ve been riding around 95 degrees nearly a month with only one brief reprieve last week. So what does one do on a blistering Saturday afternoon, when the sky clouds over and begins to grumble? A hobbit house gardens mini-project:

Before: perennial herbs neglected during my busiest time, while I try to put new things in the ground elsewhere. The trellis marks a failed attempt to surround St. Francis with clematis.
After: removed pansies and crabgrass, and mulched.

I have neglected the herbs of our garden a bit this year. Two pineapple sage, two sweet basil, and a purple basil still wait to be planted in their grow pots. I didn’t seed the cilantro in time, although we had some volunteers self-seeded from last year’s plants, I didn’t have a prepared place to sow weekly during the spring to guarantee a steady yield through summer. In the photo below, some scattered green specks are the starts that may or may not grow late in this heat.

The perennial herbs are faring well enough on their own, and the few I planted in time are thriving. From the foreground above: the late rosemary, a third year lemon balm, the stunted third year sage (hiding behind the lemon balm), a couple of seeding cilantro volunteers, a third year lemon thyme, and the rosemary that was planted timely.

After: the back half of the strip.

Continuing beyond St. Francis: a third year Greek oregano, the thriving third year sage, volunteer lime basil plants from last year’s herbs, Thai basil, random stalks of feed corn (stupid effing squirrels), and sweet basil.

Last year, as I was stripping the side garden, I scattered seeds from the various basil plants I had planted. The lime basil above is the result of that effort, as are the sweet basil and lime basil volunteers farther down the slope of the side garden.

Little bits, small steps, things move forward in our yard, in our garden, in our life. Advances get made, things get learned, home grows out of little more than chipped paint and weeds, thrift goods and hand-me-downs.

This is our wabi-sabi life.

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