I love gardening as much as I love my family, friends, cats, food and snowboarding in winter. Some people associate growing herbs, food or fruit with saving money and it's true, you DO save money when you grow them yourself BUT...there's a wide range of non financial benefits you can derive from growing any plant, whether they're edible or not.
The indoor plants clean and filter your air. The outdoor ones can encourage you to do a bit of pottering around, some mild exercise and best of all, lures you outdoor to the fresh air and sunshine. And if you plant edible stuff, there's the bonus of something to eat and use in your cooking after about four to twelve weeks.
The yard, which is distinct from the actual farm, resembles an untamed jungle of edible herbs and fruit. As a partially self confessed food junkie, whichever way you look at it, it's great to beable to just step outside and pick a few herb leaves to cook with, or to cut fresh stems of lemon grass to pound in the mortar and pestle.
I usually grow from seeds, transplants or cuttings. It's a lot cheaper and much more rewarding. Thought I'd post up some pictures of my efforts with gardening as a change from dissecting the benefits of good debt, bad debt, buying cars, calculating interest and all that personal finance stuff (yeah, I know you subscribe to this blog because of the PF stuff that I write but allow me to venture off topic, frequently! ;p ):
The pot about two weeks after planting and after approximately 4-6 weeks have passed we had herbs to eat:
After I had a disastrous biking accident which grazed the skin off half my face, I used this blessed Aloe plant's gel to recover and it is the best, most miraculous healing plant. Aloe Vera plants thrive on neglect and watering once a week is more than enough for this succulent. It has grown and grown and provided us with three independently planted offsprings and more little babies on the side to transplant soon (before and after). Hard to believe :
The basil plants were so stressful because they were so productive and literally produced more leaves and shoots at a faster rate than we could eat them. Almost every dish for a few weeks had to contain basil so that we could keep the plant in check lol ^ ^ ...Well they've finally matured and flowered so I've got to see how I can collect seeds:
Winter is pretty hard core in terms of trying to grow anything because the cold weather hampers plant growth so I've taken the herb planting indoors. All herb plants require some sunlight to grow so ensure you position them so that they get a bit of sunlight. Here's a new batch of corriander(cilantro) from seeds:
Mint is usually a very hardy plant that will suffocate all other plants in the garden if left untamed. I transplanted a few from the garden but for some reason they haven't really liked being planted in the pot so I was surprised to see that it is alive after almost giving up on them:
I planted iris bulbs in late April (I think)...first time that I've grown bulbs and I thought they had rotted in the soil since it was almost one and half to two months before I saw shoots sprouting. The daffodils are even more stubborn - it was only a few days ago that I finally saw shoots sprouting. Hard to believe that they could just lay there in the soil, dormant for up to two months without even growing and yet not be rotten:
On the weekend, I had a really busy and hectic time assisting with dismantling a glasshouse. I don't know why it's called a glasshouse when it's made of plastic? I also got the opportunity to ogle at glasshouse grown tomatoes and farms in Dural - my old childhood stomping grounds. When tomatoes are grown in glasshouses, instead of producing tomatoes for only one or two months or so, they can be fruiting for up to one year:
Well that's the end of show and tell. If you would like to see more, I blogged about wedding, weeding and zucchini plants which illustrates the type of back breaking activities that I get involved in on the weekends. Maybe that's why I save so much? lol ... If I'm way too busy and preoccupied with helping family and friends with their gardening and outdoorsy tasks then I'm too busy to hit the shops and rack up bills on my credit card! Plus I get a lot more exercise and never have to go to the gym. Ever.