Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flowers and Cocktails and Spring... oh my!

I should preface this post by saying that I have always been atrocious when it comes to caring for plants of any kind. House plants, flowers, herbs... it really doesn't matter. If they were in my care, they would most likely end up looking like this in two months (sans icicles):
However, I think I may have turned over a new leaf! {pun absolutely intended} I kept my herbs alive all through last summer (a few even making it through the winter and coming back!) and the pansies that were up on the third floor (out of reach of neighborhood hooligans) made it all through the winter. Yes, I just used the word hooligan. I am 28 now, it's only a matter of time before my hip starts to give out and I have 32 cats.

Anyways, on to my Neil-Sperry-caliber green thumb:
My front porch with two pots of yellow begonias with potato vine.
Balcony off my kitchen: window box with mint (which survived from last year), red geraniums, and rosemary (which survived from last year, barely).

Last summer I planted only herbs in this planter and I have to say that I love addition of the flowers. I mainly did it to create a barrier to separate the mint from the rosemary since mint will try to take over any pot you put it in, but the flowers definitely provide a nice pop of color to break up the green.
Cilantro with potato vine for decoration. I already hacked into the cilantro to make chicken tequila burgers on Monday which is why it looks a little sparse and sad.
Parsley, basil, and (behind moose's head) thyme. The parsley and thyme both survived from last year, but the basil had to be replanted. I use thyme a lot and while it survived and is starting to come back, it looked like it might take awhile, so I went ahead and planted a new, bushier one in the other pot.
Jalapeno plant, the new thyme, and chives.
I love spicy food and this is my first year to try my hand at growing anything other than herbs. Apparently pepper plants are fairly hearty, so we'll see. I got really, really excited when I went out yesterday and saw a little bud that appears to be the start of a baby jalapeno.
And finally, upstairs, two pink bougainvillea bushes. They will eventually trail down and hang over the edge of the flower box so you'll be able to see them from below. These are on the third floor so I wanted something that didn't just grow straight up. Hopefully, they will flourish under my care and look like something you would see on the French Rivera:

Lofty goal considering my aspirations for any and all plants last year was "don't die" but hey, shoot for the stars, right?
Urban gardening is a lot of work.
As such, urban gardening calls for cocktails utilizing the fruits of your labor:

Natty's Strawberry Basil Summer Cocktail
  • 3 strawberries
  • 3 basil leaves*
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. sprite
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 3 oz. prosecco/champagne
  1. Put strawberries & basil in the bottom of a shaker and muddle into a paste.
  2. Add ice and pour in remaining ingredients.
  3. Shake, shake, shake seƱora, shake your body line.
  4. Pour and enjoy.
*My roommate is not as big of a basil fan as I am and made the suggestion to use mint instead. I was attempting to recreate one of my favorite cocktails- a Fraise Tarte from The Porch, so I stuck with the basil. However, I will definitely be trying mint in the future and shall report back. The things I do for the sake of this blog! It's tough work, people!


Erika Goodwin said...

The Chicken Tequila Burger and Summer Cocktail drink look delicious!!

PinkLouLou said...

MMMMmmm I cant wait to try this!