Back in May, I posted about my sad little herb garden, which had once been so lush but had fallen into a state of disrepair. Although, things looked bleak, I wasn’t about to give up on my plants. I set about pruning the dead leaves away and attempted to give my horticultural menagerie a new lease on life.

Now, just under three months later, I am back with an update.

As you can see from the picture above, things are still alive… mostly. The rosemary in the upper left has continued to grow just fine, even if a touch slowly. The chives and thyme (lower left) also have been quite sturdy, with the thyme growing especially nicely. As for the parsley (lower right), it’s been going through some sort of awkward pubescent stage. The plant, you see, has been “bolting.” Rather than giving me joyful leaves that I can harvest for my kitchen, the parsley has been sprouting tall weed-like growths that ultimately flower — the kiss of death. I chop these beasts down practically every day, and yet there are always more and more for me. This parsley will not rest until it flowers, and that’s a fate that I simply cannot accept. Yes, people. I’m fighting with my parsley again.

And then there’s the basil. Let’s take a closer look at the basil…

THIS is the basil. And this has been the basil ever since I over-aggressively pruned the plant down to just a few woody stalks. I thought perhaps it might respond to kitschy humor by placing a garden gnome in the pot, but alas, there’s been no resurrection. Lately, it’s occurred to me that my only option is to just start over. So that’s what I did. I started over…

And I started over with MINT! Goodbye basil. Hello cousin mint. You shall be my new golden child.

The gnome patiently waits while I renovate his home.

I pull the first of several roots from the pot. Each plucking leaves me with a sense of satisfaction and renewal.

Finally I’m left with an empty vessel.

In goes the mint.

Herbal pride.

The new herb in town. Let’s see how this goes…

And for those of you curious about the status of my houseplant, here’s the latest. When we last checked in, it looked like this. Healthy, bountiful, voluminous.

These days, the plant has certainly grown; although, the leaves seem to be sagging under their own weight.

The plant seems to have also attracted a small family of gnats, which I’ve been steadily killing off with various insecticides and voodoo curses.

For now though, all seems to be well.

17 replies on “STATE OF THE HERBS: New Directions”

  1. Best of luck, B! Love the gnome. I’m sure the hippies will enjoy the term “herbal pride” but I don’t think they are referring to mint. Speaking of bad puns, any time I see “New Directions” (including on Glee), I think “Nude Erections.” I am a bad person with a dirty mind.

  2. When I first saw the first pic, I couldn’t figure out what the figure was in the upper right pot. It looked like a mangled-head Obi Wan Kenobi. Glad to find out it is a healthy gnome instead. Good luck with your plants. So far, we’re doing pretty good with the cucumbers if only because I keep having to remind chick jr. to water every once in a while.

  3. Lemme know if you want some basil transplants. Our is growing like a mofo and fighting the lemongrass for space. Speaking of lemon grass, you should get some of that, adds a lil ethnic accent to your patio.

  4. I’m having the same issue with my parsley. I didn’t know what the heck was growing out of the pot, but every week I’m cutting it out. And I rarely use the damn parsley, so it’s a stupid plant to have in the first place. DOWN WITH PARSLEY!

  5. I have had great luck with basil this year though last year I was poorly advised on pruning and it flowered. I used Italian sweet basil this year instead of Thai basil. It’s been super hot and sunny in Wisconsin so the basil has flourished whilst many of my other plants have been slightly dry even though I water them every day. I am so over mint- it’s an invasive species. That shouldn’t be a problem for you since you wisely planted it solo, but last year it completely took over everything in my long rectangular pot. Good luck with the herbs. They are the best part of my summer, except the jalapenos and tomatoes of course, which have been growing with fervor.

  6. I don’t think it’s possible to kill mint. Don’t ever put it in a garden it will take over.

    1. I guarantee you it is not possible to kill mint!!! I think perhaps even a good bonfire won’t kill it. I dug it out of my front garden when we moved into our house (a really long time ago!), and When I let that garden go once, the mint was back! I’m talkin YEARS that it was dormant… Sigh

  7. You were the one who inspired me to start an herb garden. My cilantro looks an awful lot like your basil did. My basil, which I am growing inside the house by a window, is flourishing.

    I have been told that you can’t even kill rosemary if you try, so that’s next on my list of things to attempt to grow.

    Thank you for the update and the inspiration. 🙂

  8. B – I think your houseplant is some sort of spider plant and needs something trellis-like to grow up. It is going down because it has no other way to spread out. My grandma tried to kill her spider plant every which way she could but because grandpa built it a trellis and then put hooks around the ceiling that thing took over the living room (seriously, it wrapped the living room). I could be wrong but it really looks like my grandma’s nemesis.
    Also, to get rid of the gnats fill a spray bottle with water, add some dish soap (just a bit) and spray the plant every day. The soap won’t harm the plant but it will kill the little bugs. Once the bugs are gone you can quit adding soap and just spray the leaves. My plants love a little spritz.

    1. I agree with this suggestion. It worked on a slew of little bugs that took over my pepper plant outdoors. I sprayed with this concoction just once months ago and it’s still bug-free (and pepper-full).

  9. The houseplant, re-pot w/nice new soil, give it fertilizer and water, this type plant LOVES water, but don’t drown it,then screw a screw into your ceiling, get a dumb macrame plant hanger and hang it up, facing north if possible, and it will grow and be happy and then it will start producing new spider babies OMG you are becoming a gardener!!!

    1. ITA. Looks like all the plants need more water & some fertilizer. That houseplant is indeed a spider plant. Keep it near bright light, not direct, & pretty soon it will be throwing out some babies. It is a good plant to help clean up the air quality in your apartment. LOL “dumb macrame plant hanger”!

  10. I am a certified Master Gardener and a fan of your blog and I would be happy to advise you on your herb garden – just email me!

    Keep up the good work!

  11. Hee hee! I can’t believe I’m commenting on this!
    But you MUST get more Basil!!!!
    It’s my favorite herb. OKAY, second favorite.
    I keep it right on the windowsill above my kitchen sink.
    Much easier to keep things watered if they are right there!

  12. You should call your chives/thyme pot “Chyme.” Your basil was dead, by the way. My basil is THRIVING. Will make you some pesto! Have never had luck with either parsley or dill, which is sad because dill is my favorite.

  13. I never have any luck with basil, so I just buy the big plant from TJs every once in a while and never bother to replant it.

    BUT – I strenuously recommend you re-pot your rosemary into a much larger container so that it can flourish.

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