I am not a gardenator. I don’t read seed catalogs all winter. I don’t buy a dumptruck load of mulch in the spring. I try to limit my yard time to a weekly ride on the lawnmower, preferably with cigar in hand.

I’m not good at growing things.

And yet … I like plants. That is to say, I like herbs. Basil and oregano on a Mama’s pizza? I’m there. It’s the taste, but it’s also the feel and aroma of cilantro, parsley, chives and all the rest of the taste array you can buy at the market in bundles so big I wouldn’t use it up in a month. So it goes bad waiting for me to get to it. Arggghh.

Not this year.

This year, I went to Highland Gardens. (Country Market is so big it scares me.) I bought a big blue pot, a bag of dirt and six little plastic cartons with Lemon Thyme, Lesbos Basil, Italian Parsley, Longstanding Coriander, Hot & Spicy Oregano and Garlic Chives. I put the plants in the six small holes in the pot, followed by the dirt. I put arugula on top.

That was last night. I tasted them after they were planted. They were good. I’m not home now, but I think they are still alive. We’ll see.

With plants, I am always reminded of what the Dread Pirate Roberts said to Wesley every night: “Sleep tight, Wesley, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”


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paddydear@epix.net or pcarroll@patriot-news.com


In culinary school and getting ready to trade the writing life for the cooking life. Or not. Might do both. At the moment I'm a feature writer for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. My name is Pat Carroll.

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