There’s nothing like fresh herbs and vegetables. Unless, of course, it’s fresh herbs and vegetables you’ve grown yourself. It wasn’t long after I moved into my place with it’s tiny north facing balcony that I discovered the few surviving plants I’d brought with me from my last place liked it lots better than the old, wind-scoured west facing one. They actually went green, and stayed alive!
Over time, though, the combined effects of a few gales, disposable plants (the ones that are engineered to only produce for one season and die), and commuting took their toll, and the balance has shifted back from green to brown, with only a few die hard stalwarts remaining. Pardon the pun. Oh, and in case you’re wondering: Commuting = longer days = more likely to forget to water
At the moment there’s a product on one of those “As seen on TV” ads for an indoor herb garden, that has it’s own light and looks amazing. I reckon indoor plants have a much better chance – in fact I have an indoor peace lily and an aloe vera that have survived several years (normal lifespan of anything plant-like is months, at best). There was one plant – a french sorrel, (if you’ve never tasted it, it’s absolutely amazing with avocado on a sandwich, because it tastes zingy like lemon, especially the stems) – that nearly took over my kitchen window, at which point I moved it outside. There’s a vague hump of something in the middle of that pot, but I’m afraid to poke it to find out if it’s alive. I keep watering in the hope… Anyway, I like the idea of this one, but I really can’t bring myself to spend $300 on herbs – even if I bought them every week for the rest of my life I’m sure I wouldn’t come close to spending as much!
But today, I think I may have found an answer. There’s a post over at Lifehack.org that talks about home automation. I’d never realised, but it extends to the garden too! My inner geek is somehow strangely compelled by the idea of realising I’ve not taken care of them for a few days, again, but being able to ring up and tell the plants to water themselves from the comfort of the train.
First, though, I face a quandary. Having single-handedly destroyed most of the signs of life that were on my little balcony last year, do I go out and spend up again for what might be only a month or two of precarious greenery followed by another 10 months of guilt and ribbing from my offsider about plant harikiri (I know it’s misspelt, but that’s how he pronounces it). Or do I practise a zen-like attitude of acceptance, clean out the dying and dead, give away the pots to someone more merciful and let the supermarket sacrificial versions gradually turn black in a glass of water instead?
What do you think?
PS Here’s a picture of the casualties… I was surprised at how much is still alive when I took it – it looks like I’ve even got a capsicum trying to grow! Did magic fairies visit me overnight or something???