Sunday, May 17, 2009

We should have gone to a movie

Had an amusing experience last night. Alright, sixty percent amusing, forty percent annoying. Actually, maybe just plain annoying, but with amusing elements.

I've recently started reading this fascinating blog about urban beekeeping, and decided to work down the list of links to see if I could discover some other interesting beekeeping sites. Anyway, I was reading one of the links when I got to a section where the blogger rants about a Slate story in which the author argues that gardening is actually expensive. I got the tiniest bit agitated when I realized she was talking about a story I wrote. She refers to me as "honey" in a sarcastic way. Otherwise, nothing about bees.

Speaking of gardening, here's our new curry leaf "tree": 

I ordered it back in February from a nursery in New Jersey and it finally arrived on Thursday, wrapped in wet newspaper. I'm sure I will find a way to kill it before ever harvesting a mature leaf, but I had to try. Curry leaves are a fragrant herb used in Indian cooking (they're unrelated to curry powder) and I've had a hard time finding a reliable source, what with periodic quarantines. As you can see, the plant is startlingly petite, but it has potential. On the other hand, check out this second "tree" I ordered to give to my friend Lisa:

I can not give that to Lisa. Thing is not gift material. Note how the toothpick towers over the "tree." If the nursery weren't in New Jersey, the people so unfriendly, and it had cost more than $9, I would ask for a replacement. 

Yesterday, I also bought a Kaffir lime from our local nursery, but that was a proper tree and cost considerably more than $9. See? Gardening = expensive. At least when you have no self control. 


  1. I read that little bit on her site--she does make some good points, namely that there are a lot of unnecessary things that people spend a lot of money on in their gardens.

    But what stuck out to me is that she only spent $15 on seeds! How in the world can you get a harvest of any kind out of that? I can't imagine what she bought, but I spent $80 on seeds for this year alone, and I didn't even get all the things I wanted. And it's nowhere near enough to feed my family for a year! Of course gardening is cheap when you're doing a tiny plot that can only fit $15 worth of seeds. Pfft.

  2. Hello, time commitment=costly too. You are right; ranty blogger is not. But, as my former boss used to say, Say anything you want about me in print, just spell my name right.
    Some of us purchase all those "unnecessary" things because despite our best efforts, everything dies anyway. (Waving black thumb over here.) If I could keep an herb garden alive, I would be a happy girl, because it kills me to spend $2 per bunch on what is always the wrong amount of herbs--either too much or too little. Alas, it never, ever works for me. I'm almost ready to try again. But oy, with the failures.

  3. What is the second plant, the one that you are not giving as a gift? Is that curry leaf, too? I wonder what the rate of returns is at a mail-order place vs. a real store. Must be like 1-to-200.

  4. Soil amendments, bamboo stakes for the beans, Neem oil for the scale on the plum and apple trees, a new pickaxe to break previously untilled ground. Plus the Kaffir lime tree, three tomatillo seedlings and a lemon verbena. That was Saturday.
    I still don't have a drip irrigation system, but damnit, I want one, even if that does make me Imelda Marcos. Never rains here in the summer. Ever.

  5. gardening is soooo very expensive. drives me nuts how much I spend everyfrigginyear. I'm kinda obsessed with green beans at the moment. Plant way to many different varieties. Last year had such a bumper crop I actually kinda got sick of eating them. Didn't think that would ever happen. I still can't believe I actually threw a big bag away in compost after forgetting all about it back of crisper. I'm still sick about it.
    i've been known to board planes with little bags of plants that I drag home from my mothers, and my daughters. I plan on trips to Toronto in the spring just to buy seedlings to drag back home.
    My problem is I don't know when to stop planting things. The year I first started a particular garden in a newly purchased home I had more than 50 varieties of tomatoe seedlings before I even had the ground dug up for the raised beds.