There is perhaps no denying, that this time of year, is really my time of year. As we transition from Summer into Autumn, I start to get excited. Darker evenings, more reasons to snuggle on the sofa, hot, filling meals, and the sense that Christmas, and also my birthday are coming. That’s not to say I am totally adverse to Summer itself.
This year, I have spent a lot of time doing things to my house, including making a start on renovating my yard to be a useable and enjoyable space, although it’s seldom been used because I’ve just been too busy. One thing I’m never too busy for though, is my collection of herbs and lavender in my pots outside. August really is the time I should have posted this, but never mind.
Lavender, is supposed to be pruned by the second week in August, to give it chance to establish itself again before the cold weather sets in, and whilst my new lavender bushes are fairly young, I still pruned them, I just didn’t dry any of it because I’ve still got a batch of it from last year and the year previous, I just can’t get through it fast enough to be fair – despite it being a favourite smell. But whilst I was out pruning my bush, I decided, as always, it’s time to prune back the herbs too.
I have Basil, Thyme, Sage, Mint, Rosemary and Oregano all growing just outside my back door, and whilst the Oregano pretty much grows wild (again, I can’t use it quick enough) I’ve had meagre helpings of the rest of them most of the time. Whilst my thyme is half dead, and my rosemary hasn’t produced an awful lot this year so far, the rest of the herbs have really taken off, and so pruning them was necessary and plus, it gives me time to dry them in the hot weather we have been blessed with this year.
Earlier this year, I made a start on changing my kitchen around from the magnolia it was, into a grey and copper dream (grey is really the key element of all the downstairs space because my house isn’t huge and the rooms feel like they should be united in colour schemes somehow), but adding the herbs drying in their usual space in the window just added this urban/country charm to the space.
Now, I pretty much grew up in the countryside. Our house was an old farm house, we had a pot rack hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen, the central heating was fuelled by oil, the village was a literal “blink and you miss it” style, and I wouldn’t trade that in for the world. Whilst I long to go back to country living, the fact of the matter is, as many people will find, sometimes the commutes aren’t worth it, and living closer to urban areas is more ideal for work opportunities.
Growing up next to nature though, has influenced me a lot, and the reason I grow herbs is for their purpose and use in food. Food is a big part of my life; cooking is a therapeutic hobby – baking is not, I bake but I do not find it that therapeutic, I’m not sure if I’m doing it wrong, but it’s stressful to be successful. Ideally I’d have loved the space to grow vegetables, and whilst I probably could afford to do so by sacrificing more space around the edge of my small concrete yard, I feel like I wouldn’t produce enough or good quality vegetables, and so herbs is where it’s at. Herbs are also not that hard to look after. Aside from my lavender and basil this year, most of what I have is from last year. The plants were planted in 2016, and they all bounced back this time around. Maintenance is easy too, half the time, our weather gives enough sunshine and enough water to keep them alive and thriving; and it’s really not that hard if you only have the space for some pots, to actually just give them a quick water after work or when they really need it.
So, as we tread into the next seasons, my favourites after all, I have my herbs ready to use with some cooking, and I can guarantee, there is going to be some hearty meals coming as the weather starts to cool. This has been a rant about herbs and the seasons, I hope you have enjoyed it.