Okay my garden growers! This is my first year, I wanted to step up my game and grow something. I usually kill everything. Even my bamboo plant, which is pretty hard to do! (It’s like killing a cactus….) My lovely husband bought me a bamboo plant instead of flowers and said the remark, “Just try to let this baby die.” Well, I did. Technically, I put it in my closet (which is the size of a small room because it used to be a laundry room, please don’t even get me started on this one!) anyways, I put it in my closet to REMIND myself to water it. Guess what. As I was getting ready in the room, I would think, “hey amber, you got to water that thing!” and by the time I was finished…well, I forgot. Not a good place for a plant! This is just my point, I did not have a green thumb to start off with.
So, this is the year, I grabbed my big girl panties and tried something new. You see, I can’t dig a garden, although I would love to. In my mind’s eye, I would love to have a beautiful garden that I can step outside into my back yard and smell the flowers, see lovely shades of all different colors and even eat my own garden. Of course, I want a vegetable garden, I’m obsessed with food! But I can’t because my dog would eat every plant I have. Believe me, I know, she eats my neighbors and that’s no secret when half a bush is missing!
Since I talk about wanting a garden so much, one of my Pampered Chef teammates and now friend, Kim, surprised me with a lovely gift of a tomato plant. I am well aware that I said I wanted to grow a garden but again, totally dumbfounded at how to do this. I thanked Kim for such a thoughtful present and put it on a table on my deck. There it died. No lie, it was limp and hanging over. I looked out the window and thought, “No! Not another goner!” I immediately went to the store and bought a planters pot and some organic soil. Organic because, what could be better? (I’m a firm believer in everything organic, my plant bounced back amazingly well as you will soon see!) I also picked up some seeds of sunflowers and radishes, I know right, full charge ahead!
Now, I must tell you this story because it made me cry, yes, I said cry. (Sigh…) Here it is. I watered my plants religiously. I prayed for my plants to the fairies. Yes, I did. Because I wanted to see them succeed! I wanted to succeed! Out of this very tall vine, grew one beautiful celebrity tomato. I waited for it to turn just perfectly ripe and it finally did. That morning, I checked on my tomato, she was pretty as ever! I knew this was going to be the day to pick it and I couldn’t wait to use it in a recipe that I just wrote specifically for this one beautiful tomato. As we were eating at the dinning room table, I looked out my patio door. There, a squirrel went running for its life. My mouth dropped open as I questioned what I just saw. My husband and kids kept asking if I was okay….I stood up and walked over to the patio door. I looked over at my plant and noticed my ONE and ONLY tomato was missing! The squirrel ran off with my tomato! The tears ran down my face. Can you believe that, he stole my only tomato and I cried. My husband laughed so hard at me that it made me feel a little foolish. He went to the porch and screamed at the squirrel, “Hey you thief!…” (hahahahaha), “Come back with our tomato!” Just then, the squirrel dropped it off the top of the gate. My husband laughed even harder, I think I cried a little harder too. Guess those little fuzzies just need to eat as well!
Before (the morning before my tomato was stolen!):
(Oh, another beautiful tomato will grow! I just know it!)
Nevertheless, I am proud to say, I grew some radishes this year and am currently growing mint. What does all this tomato talk have to do with ”The Friendship Plant Mint,” nothing but this does…
There are three herbs that I absolutely love: sweet basil (fresh that I can add to my pizzas or better yet sauces), tarragon (I love the licorice taste!) and Mint. As I started to grow my mint, I thought of a question…why isn’t it called friendship mint? We have friendship bread that we make for each other from the same batch that never goes away, what about a friendship mint? Mint does not grow well from seeds. Isn’t that something? I thought so!
To grow mint: clip any pieces from a plant or buy a mint plant at a nursery. If you clip a few pieces like I did, place them in water and put a side. Wait and wait. Wait until the roots are about 3″ long. I changed my water every few days to keep it fresh. It took about 2 weeks for the roots to become that long. Please take note in picture below:
Then place them in soil and watch your mint garden grow! Unless you want mint EVERYWHERE and I do mean everywhere, place them in a controlled area. If you place them in the ground, there’s no telling where it will end! Mint loves to take over your garden. I love this particular plant because it’s from my mom’s garden. I feel we have a connection, a friendship together. When I get a few more sprigs, I’ll pass it to my sister and hope she grows and passes it on. What a cool plant if you ask me!
From now on, I’m protecting my tomato plant with one of those wire things, in hope nothing takes my baby tomato and I’m now calling mint, the Friendship Plant or perhaps my tomato plant should be “The Friendship Plant?” Either way, when you give a garden or a plant or some seeds its an amazing gift of friendship. Thank you Kim, for being my friend.