Coming back from Camp Davis after a long weekend is always a mixed bag. In many ways we’re excited to re-connect with the rest of the world (did we miss anything important?), see friends, and otherwise get back to “normal” as best we can. Of course, leaving is never easy.
Yesterday we found ourselves in the usual groove of last-minute project frenzy. Amid shutting down the place, cleaning up and packing the car, the typical Sunday (or in this case, Monday) routine has us scrambling to finish at least one project we had put off all weekend for leisure activities.
Walking down the makeshift stone stairs next to our herb garden I noticed a number of loose rocks underfoot. That prompted my absolute burning need to re-set nearly all of those stone stairs for the better part of an hour when I should have been getting us ready to leave. Who says I can’t prioritize?
Being so close to the herb garden, well, I just had to get down a layer of top-soil. After all, spring seeding is just around the corner, right? This project lends itself quite naturally to reviewing the herb garden on the whole.
On observation it seems that the oregano, rosemary, thyme, lavender and sage perennials will all carry over from last year, and look poised for big growth once the weather allows. That goes double for the mint, which had taken root so well the year before we found the need to cut it out of the herb garden and transfer it to its own pot, lest it takeover everything else. The mint plant might be my favorite, mainly because its seemingly sole purpose in our household revolves around cocktails. It’s really more of a Mint-Julep/Mojito Plant as far as its use is concerned. Maybe we’ll try to cook with some of it this year. Or not. Mint just works so well with booze. Why try to fix what aint broke?
With that solid base we’ll need to supplement with only a few annuals. Basil is a must. Planted early enough we were able to grow a ton of it from seed last year. We had less luck with the dill, but we’ll give that another go as well. Same with the parsley, which seemed a certain raccoon’s favorite thing to eat from the garden. Although we did notice it popping up already this weekend. Odd. We’ll also plant chives again this year.
As I mentioned in my Vacation Inspiration post, I’m in love with the idea of rosemary-as-shrub. I plan to buy a handful of small rosemary plants at the beginning of the season for planting around the perimeter of the house, in hopes that in time they’ll grow into full-on dream shrubs, adding green and beautiful aromas year-round.
We’ve also attempted to grow vegetables at Camp before, but with very little success. It turns out that a few weekends a month isn’t good enough when it comes to watering and cultivating growth, especially during the hot summer months.
We have two 6ft-by-3ft raised vegetable garden beds. We built them “family style,” which means half the people worked while the others cracked jokes and drank beer:
Last year we made the mistake of attempting to grow a wide-variety of vegetables for the small spaces. Between that and the lack of watering, we set ourselves up to fail from the start. This year I plan to lay a drip-line with a timer for watering while we’re gone. With that in place, we hope to grow just two things: tomatoes and squash. The types will vary, but we’ll stick to those two vegetables and see how they perform in year one.
But now it’s time for seed purchasing. I’m on the lookout for reputable online seed distributors – if anyone has some suggestions we’d appreciate it.