When I was just out of college, I moved to the big city. The move was a dream come true, except that I was a little bit alone for my more rural roots. To bring some of the small-town girls to the big city, I decided to try planting some herbs and vegetables in my new rental home.
This rental house was divided between the upper and lower floors with the tenants on the lower floor having access to the only green space: the courtyard. I had access to what would have been the courtyard except that it had been converted into two parking spaces.
What should a girl do? Fortunately, the external staircase leading to my apartment was wide and south-west facing, perfect for container gardening.
Basil growing container
This was my first experience in gardening without a family member, so as you can imagine there have been successes and failures, but there has been one that stands out. I had planted a basil start, I didn’t expect much from it. And, in the beginning, it was insignificant. The leaves seemed to burn and the plant was stunted. But then, below and behold, the courgettes that were planted a step above the basil made a growth spurt (you know how they can get it) which practically includes the basil plant.
This may have been the coup de grace, but, instead, the courgette plant gave the basil the filtered light it needed, effectively protecting it from the sun’s stinging and burning, but allowing it to peek enough.
In no time, the basil plant doubled in size and then doubled again. I cut the basil from the handfuls and gave it to all my friends, but the container that cultivated the basil plant was still damn close to a small shrub.
Since then I always grow basil because I love the delicate flavor, but also because I hope to replicate it that year in which I had the blue ribbon, not grown on steroids, harvested of basil in containers. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m not giving up hope. My basil crop is always respectable, but so far the first year I have cultivated it as a beginner gardener, quite inept and forgetful, has not shone. Maybe one day I will have a large basil plant again. Until then, I will keep trying.