My life as an international gypsy landed me on Cape Cod, a uniquely shaped peninsula south of Boston on the East Coast of the United States. Life there is all about the sea and the beach but for the first in years I had yard. A space with lawn, trees, bushes, flowers. Having led an urban life I had zero experience with gardening.
Local gardeners told me that I could do no wrong with herbs. Since I enjoy cooking the idea was good. I cleared an area for culinary herbs and started planting. My first choices were dictated by Simon and Garfunkel: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Lavender, oregano, cilantro, several types of mint, tarragon, chives followed. By the end of the first Summer I had huge basil plants, so I made and froze ice cubes of pesto that lasted all through winter. The chive flowers ended up in bottles of aromatic vinegar. In the Fall I planted enough garlic for following year.
I joined a group of ladies headed by one expert herbalist. I now had enough information to be daring: comfrey, yarrow, borage, catnip, lemon verbena, lemon balm, woodruff, Solomon’s seal followed and elderberry trees. I even attempted astragalus, a Chinese herb whose root is beneficial to the immune system. The rabbits got that one, they are now very healthy.
Having learnt my lesson I protected the echinacea plants, that is the purple coneflowers. Small bottles started to fill my kitchen cabinets. They held homemade infusions, decoctions, tinctures, syrups, salves prepared with my fresh and dried herbs. We were healthy and my cooking was soooooooo aromatic!
Being an astrologer everything was planted and picked respecting the moon cycle and signs. I was also learning the joys of composting incorporating seaweed and crushed lobster shells, subjects I will cover next time.