Hi fellow nomads,
Of the many things that has charmed us about moving to our
new place, the community herb garden located a short stroll away is one of the
most unusual. Did I mention it’s also on a roundabout?

So what on earth is a community herb garden?
Well, seeing as you didn’t ask, it’s a public space where some kind souls have spent their time growing herbs for the rest of the community to make use of. I, for one, think this is an absolutely genius idea. How many times do we, especially those of us who live in flats or dwellings without gardens, read down the ingredients list of a new recipe and see that it calls for a handful of a herb that you don’t have the time or space to grow – oh, and of course it must be fresh. It has happened to me more times than I care to think about, and I either end up buying those tiny packets of pre-cut herbs from the chiller section in the supermarket, ruefully counting the cost both to my grocery budget and to my carbon footprint, or simply go without and feel like I’m missing a key part of the dish. So, I’m really pleased to have this great resource at my disposal and I look forward to fewer harassed trips to the supermarket wondering what on earth marjoram looks like. However, last week, I had a slightly different use in mind for my wonderful community resource…

Way back when the weather was still good, I took myself out with a pair of scissors and
an old carrier bag with some damp kitchen roll in the base. I enjoyed the walk
in the balmy summer evening, taking no music or phone to distract me, but spent
some time with my brain. I like being by myself; as an introvert I’ve got a lot
of thoughts racing around up in my skull and it does me good to spend a little
time with them, give them attention and make them feel loved. This is how I
flourish.

When I arrived at the garden, I had a little look at the
signs for what was good at the moment and some suggestions of what this
particular variety could be used for. I soon spotted some beautiful flowers
mixed in amongst the herbs, and took my scissors to task. There aren’t many
rules in our community herb garden, but the main one seems to be: cutting ok,
digging not ok. 

The Rules

So away I snipped, selecting a variety of pleasing colours,
shapes and scents. They went in the bag, the top tied carefully to try and
maintain some humidity, and off I set back home. I was having such a nice time
all by myself that I realised I had a fairly inane grin on my face – way to
integrate with the new neighbours and not look like a crazy person, Rachel!


When I got home I arranged my spoils into two of my favourite vases. The first – it’s actually a carafe, and it’s my favourite carafe too, but we won’t let
that spoil the story – went on the mantlepiece in our living room…

…and the second went on the dresser in the spare bedroom that my friend would be staying in the next night. These bouquets are gorgeous because they not only look pretty, but they also scent the room
delicately. 

I feel lucky to live somewhere where beautiful, useful and
varied plants are grown for the benefit of the community. It’s something I’ve
never seen before – have you?
-Rachel