The more creative I mean to be, while thinking about how I can improve the aspect of my garden, the less ideas I find that would make my garden unique and special among all the other gardens of my friends.
When I was a young wife, with a dream of having an organic vegetable garden near our country house I had the dream of having a plot of aromatic herbs I would use for cooking and medicinal purposes.
Both my mother and grandmother had a plot like that near their houses and even now I distinctively remember the wonderful smell on mint, basil, rosemary and sage, the flavor of a hot tea with honey that use to be the common treatment for my childhood colds, and the perfect taste of a vegetable and herbs soup steaming in a bowl during spring days.
Since we have chosen for our new family a small cottage in the suburbs, I thought it was a good idea to “hide” among the garden flowers the precious seeds of aromatic plants so dear to my heart.
This is how I went on having at hand the most craved plants, part of every modern salad, benefic both for our body and for our spirit.
My basil was the European type, with large leaves, strong scent, a plant with personality, with beautiful white and lilac flowers. I used to put it chopped in the beef stew but also on pork stake and hang it in bunches on the porch to chase away flies or other summer bugs.
I grew mint mostly for tea but soon after getting familiar with Mediterranean food I introduced it in meat cooking and chocolate desserts. The fresh crushed plant has powerful antiseptic properties and did a lot of good to my family’s digestion.
The rosemary is my favorite aromatic plant. The sweet scent and distinctive flavor is the perfect choice for a summer vegetable soup and for “bringing down” the taste of a strong flavored meat, such as lamb, rabbit or game.
The rosemary is an excellent source of aromatherapy oil and together with the lavender is the key ingredient for a relaxing bath.
I like to have it in my house, green or dried because of its refreshing smell that gives me energy.
As I became a mother, I started growing chamomile in my garden.
The chamomile tea is the elixir for baby’s bath, the relaxing recipe for a good night sleep during teething, a very important home antiseptic and the best remedy for tired and irritated eyes.
The trusted friend I treasured for many years is the sage. Old as time this aromatic herb is the best natural antiseptic present on the face of the Earth after aloe. This plant with fluffy leaves is a perfect remedy for female hormonal problems and in the mean time is a precious ingredient for minced meat dishes.
During the years, my own little sister wanted a garden of her own. Living in the city the odds of having one were very little so I taught her to grow these plants in pots, like one grows apartment plants.
As all aromatic herbs go along with one another, they grew up wonderfully in the same pot needing nothing else but a layer of dirt, constant watering and the caress of the sun.
Following my own advice I did the same thing during winter and now I have the joy of having my little treasure garden near me through all the seasons.