I am a huge fan of fresh herbs and I always envy those photographs of kitchen gardens that are just bursting with various herbs at the ready for the cookâ€™s scissors. I also have a kitchen garden which has some hardy herbs like tanglad (lemongrass), pandan (screwpine leaves), oregano (nothing can kill this), basil, makrut (kaffir lime), laurel (bay leaves), mint, galangal (yellowish ginger) but I seem to have a black thumb so many of the herbs I buy donâ€™t last too long. Seems my problem is the soil and drainage and many of the herbs I like require better drained and different nutrient rich potting mixtures. Oh wellâ€¦ Despite this â€œherbs springs eternalâ€ attitude, I keep tryingâ€¦ and two months ago I bought a healthy little thyme plant for a whopping sum of PHP250 and have taken great care not to overwater it, give it too much sun or trim too many leaves. It is still alive and I am thrilled! Here you see it in a white and gold cachepot. I love fresh thyme particularly in my lemon and thyme chicken and surprisingly, as a touch of the unusual in my paksiw na lechon recipe.
Emboldened by my success with the little thyme, I passed by the Toscana farm stand last weekend and bought a really healthy BUSH of thyme for just PHP180, a relative bargain! It has now been transplanted to a large terra cotta pot and is just feet away from my computer, out on the terrace. I am hoping this bush will be comfortable in its new home and will yield enough thyme for the year aheadâ€¦ I also find I have trouble keeping rosemary alive. What should be an incredibly hardy plant often last just a few months with me before it keels over. My beloved rosemary bush out in Batangas that lasted over a year and was quite large died last month of unknown causes and it was too expensive to do an autopsyâ€¦boohoo. Anyone who cooks with herbs regularly will understand the desire to have them fresh and aplentyâ€¦there is no substitute for good fresh herbs to help enhance whatever dish you are cooking!