Wednesday, July 2, 2014


You see these raised beds? They're just sitting here going to waste this summer, for I didn't even bother with planting any veggies this spring. For one thing, my results were never proportionate to the time, money and water invested. Veggies are huge water suckers -- water we really can't afford to waste since our whole house relies on rain water, a scarcity during Texas summers. For another, those covers are already riddled with big holes, and would probably need to be replaced if we want to keep the critters out. I've thought about growing herbs there instead. I'm good at growing those. Plus, deer don't like plants that are strongly flavored and/or fuzzy, which describes most herbs, so I wouldn't even need those ugly covers.

The thing is, I've already got four windowboxes filled with the herbs I use most often in my cooking, not to mention huge heaps of rosemary just outside the front door, and more herbs scattered throughout my front porch pots.

So why plant more of what I already have?

But then I started reading Death Come Quickly, the latest China Bayles mystery by Susan Wittig Albert. They happen to take place here in the Texas Hill Country, in case you aren't familiar with them. In this one the mystery centers on a collection of Mexican Art and the private museum where it is housed. In order to get her nose in the door so she can poke around, China volunteers to plant a Mexican herb garden in their courtyard -- a garden which would include things like Hoja Santa (aka root beer plant)...

and Mexican Oregano...

two plants I have grown for their beauty alone, regardless of their culinary uses.

Suddenly I'm thinking "By jove, that's it! I'll plant a Mexican herb garden there." Heaven knows, we love our Mexican food! Who knows? Maybe it will even encourage us to branch out beyond the traditional Tex-Mex that we usually eat.

If you think you might like to try growing a few Mexican herbs yourself, here are China's suggestions:

Prickly Pear
Lemon Verbena
Mexican Oregano
Mexican Tarragon
Hoja Santa
Mexican Lime



musingegret said...

This is so timely; I was just reading up on growing epazote! As always, thx for your research.

Hill Country Hippie said...

I had heard of Epazote, though I have never used it. Please share if you find any great recipes. The one I had never even heard of was Papaloquelite, or Papalo. Luckily, I was able to find the helpful article from Jim Long. Now all I have to do is find the herb itself!