Alas, the herb garden

The last time I left Seattle (after my summer internship), I wrote a post about things I would miss upon returning to Boston. This time I held off; everything moved too fast to pause for reflection, and I didn’t know what would show up on the “most missed” list.

Then tonight I was in the grocery store and I had a full-on Proustian moment. I was going to pick up a chicken to make one of our favorites, a fricassee with rosemary, garlic, and white wine, when I thought, “Guess I need to buy rosemary.” And just like that, it came to me in a rush: I miss my herb garden.

Obviously rosemary in particular is important to me. But I really miss that whole garden bed. Out of the six raised beds in the back, we only kept one going consistently. As I described when I dug it, I put in a full bouquet garni of herbs, and then some: a border of different thymes, of which the standard English and variegated lemon varieties did quite well; sage, which froze in the winter but bounced back and thrived after; marjoram and savory, which hung in quite well; basil and parsley, which needed seasonal replacement but some of which hung on for the next year; oregano, which may well have taken over the whole box by now. And what ended up being two rosemary bushes, one of which was three feet tall when we left. I never had to buy herbs, except cilantro and parsley (we consumed far more than we could grow). I could always walk out back and grab a handful of stuff and improvise.

This house has no established garden area. We’re going to have to work quite hard to carve one out of the back yard, which is shadowed by three overgrown maples and blanketed with weeds. So it will be a while before I get my herb-fu back.