After the war, my grandfather in Arkansas was a farmer. I remember traveling through the Delta as a little girl, making notes on the status of soybeans, corn, and cotton, and counting the number of sections on irrigation systems so I could give him a full report once we arrived in Morriliton. To this day, cotton that's two feet high means that school's around the corner. Along with crops, Grandpapa raised the most beautiful cows, and we still have a little farm out from Menifee, which I love to visit.
I suppose then that there is a genetic explanation for my lethargic love of dirt. The smell, the feel, the simple nuturing vitamins emanating from a spongy, dark clod of dirt is as good for me as a cup of coffee and a pound of dark chocolate.
I'm not saying I'm a GOOD gardener.... Just that once I get into it, it's a good day.
My stepmother, now SHE's a great gardener. As long as I've known her, she has engineered exquisite creations both inside and outside the house, in dirt, pots, vases, whatever she touches works beautifully. I remember once she'd worked all afternoon on quail herbed from her own garden. My sweet little sister was about 2 years old. She took one bite, looked at me with her big blue eyes, and matter-of-factly said, "This tastes like dirt. I know. I've had it before."
So so here's my attempt at giving food the delectable taste of dirt. The above photo shows my purchases this morning: from the left, two cilantro, four mint (will probably move them into the yard once they grow up and out of the pot), one flat-leaf parsley, and a rosemary.
I love how once they were re-potted, they all took a collective deep, relaxing sigh and seem to like their new homes. It's like they're stretching out and settling in. Kind of the same reaction as I have in the hot tub with Mike and a glass of champagne.
So much for my Valentine's Day manicure.