I like gardening. I like getting my hands dirty and digging stuff up. I like pruning and planting, staking and watering. I like seeing the first little green shoots sprouting up out of seeds. I love flowers blooming and fruit, um, fruiting. I love to eat fresh produce that I have grown.
Another benefit of gardening is being able to offer little Roderick tasty treats that are free from pesticides and that don’t cost me an arm and a leg. It means he can have a varied diet and I don’t have to be running down the shop constantly to feed him.
Today is freezing. The kind of cold that numbs your fingers and turns your toes blue. The kind of cold that makes me ache and walk around with heat packs and hot water bottles strapped to various parts of my body. Despite the deep-freeze temperature, the sun is shining brightly and cheerfully and the sky is that perfect shade of blue that makes you wish you could just fly about in it and forget about going to work (which I have to do in a minute). So after a quick trip to the physio this morning, I took some time to pick some nice grass and herbs for Roderick’s mid-morning snack. He’s already had his breakfast but until I bring him some grass, he looks at me very disdainfully and as though I’ve let the team down. So let me take you on a little tour through Roderick’s garden (which needs weeding and pruning and tidying up so forgive the mess…):
First stop, Sage. Roderick’s favourite. Hence the short and very-plucked stature of this poor specimen.
Rosemary. He loves this too and enjoys the woody stems. Good for his teeth.
Basil. He lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-v-e-s Basil. These sad little seedlings were grow from seeds from my last big healthy basil plant. I don’t think they’re going to be survivors. They may have to be retired early. They’ve been this size for two months 😦
Coriander. Roderick does a crazy head-spin thing when I give him this. He’s like me, can’t stand the smell. He, however, likes the taste (unlike me) and eats it after running around it and head-spinning for a while. It’s high in vitamin C which is good for little pigs.
Parsley. A tricky one because he loves it, but it’s not good for him to have it all the time due to the high calcium content (can give guinea pigs bladder stones and other problems). It’s a treat herb, just once every now and then. He’d eat the whole plant if I let him though…
Mint. Poor mint. It gets neglected and forgotten but it keeps on surviving and growing, bless it.
Lavender. I only found out recently that he could and would eat this. I have loads of it and it is just flowering again now so it’s a pretty addition to his breakfast once a week or so.
So that’s the basic tour. I’ll bring you back again in Spring perhaps, when it’s warmer outside and things are blossoming and blooming all over the place, no matter how badly I treat them. I can’t wait for Spring and then lovely, lovely, gorgeous Summer. Going to try and grown lots more “eatables” for the little guy. I’m sure the neighbours think I’m a witch or something, out there in the rain, in the dark or in my pyjamas with a torch picking little bit of this and that, selecting the most perfect shoots of grass and discarding the tattier ones, collecting herbs and talking to the plants. Roderick just thinks I’m his crazy Mum. And that’s ok with me.