Lavender and Mud

My mint weathered the winter. In fact, it’s so impossibly bushy already I plan to give it regular haircuts throughout the warm weather and make many pitchers of iced tea. Sit in my favorite dilapidated garden chair and watch it grow some more.


Rosemary, sage and the rest are all tucked in place. I put in fringed lavender as well as the commonplace kind. Fringed lavender, also known as French lavender, is the kind you want for butterflies. Also potpourri. And I do want potpourri.

fringed lavendar

And now my mizuna, radishes, carrots and potatos have sprouted. The potatoes are mucho macha.


And onions. The green of spring onions.

Puts me in mind of Booker T. & the M.G.’s, their Green Onions released on Stax Records in October of 1962. It reached number 33 on the Pop Albums chart in the month of its release but of course is a perennial.

The only sound I can hear now, sitting on my funky old chair next to the potatoes and the onions, is the tiny, crinkling noise of the reeds growing in the marsh. It’s a constant, but you can only hear it if you stay very, very quiet. That and the chip-chip of the cardinals having one of their cardinal parties.

Now if only it would rain. We haven’t had water from the sky in weeks and no one’s sure when it’ll come. A sprinkler’s never the same.

Puts me in mind of these people at The Year of Mud, who make building cob, straw bale and timber frame houses look impossibly glamorous. I might actually like to build a cob oven, like they are giving courses on this coming summer. Gil’s been wanting to bake pizza outdoors. Biscuits from the cob? Sounds impressive. A little smoky, though? With Ziggy as a guide, they’d probably be perfect.

Ziggy (his real name is Brian Liloia, but that’s what he’s called) documented his time building a cob house called ‘Gobcobatron’ at a place named Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, in Rutland, Missouri.


He says, “I think I have it figured out. I’ve boiled life down to the most elemental action. As I see it now, life is basically an on-going series of moving objects around.” He’s talking about moving clay and sand and straw onto a foundation, moving wood into the shape of a roof, moving soil and compost to make a garden bed, etc.


His place sounds and looks amazing, outside and in.


There might have been mud in the making of it, but now this wonderful dwelling is pristine.


Filed under Cooking, Home, Jean Zimmerman, Nature

3 responses to “Lavender and Mud

  1. Catnip also a mint. Too easy to grow, really, since they can take over your garden. But mine hasn’t. Yet.

  2. Lori

    A blog post with a sound track! Cool! Is your mint spearmint or peppermint? All kinds of mint grow wild around here. Spearmint, peppermint, lemonbalm which is also a mint, applemint and a few other oddball varieties. Mints are easy to grow.


    Lovely. My mother’s SPEARMINT grew just under the outside water spigot; my job was to harvest the tender tips to garnish the iced tea. Would a pot of it survive our summer on our veranda? I may resort to Bigelow’s.

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