Growing, Growing, Gone!

Gardening is certainly not my forte, as some of you might remember from previous “harvests.” Despite the overwhelming evidence that I should just leave those poor seeds alone and let someone with a green thumb take over, I just can’t seem to help myself, and have taken on yet another sprouting project even before the snow could stop falling from a wintry sky. Right from the start, I’ve broken the rules; Never start planting before the ground is at least 40 degrees! so many guides shout with conviction. Rebellious by nature, those words of warning didn’t even phase me, especially if I could sidestep the issue altogether by planting indoors. With this new approach, it must certainly be easier to monitor temperatures, waterings, and control the pests all at once, and so my little herb garden was started. Containing oregano, chives, parsley, and basil, it was really more of an exercise in plant-care than a real attempt at producing anything edible. So into fresh dirt those dry little seeds went, and the oblong planter nestled perfectly onto the narrow window sill.

That was 5 weeks ago today, and if you happened to be watching the periodic updates I’ve been posting on Flickr, then you would already know that those tiny kernels did indeed take root and sprout, pushing their way up through the dirt to greet the sunlight warming them. I can scarcely believe it- They’re so green, so lush, so… Alive! I’ve never been able to grow anything quite so vibrant before! Blossoming not into flowers but into something of a second family, seeing them sitting there patiently every time I return from classes is like a greeting from a loyal friend. Now they’re more than just little herbs to me, and I’ve taken even greater care to ensure their survival.

By no means does that imply it’s been smooth sailing all along. Just when the success of this gardening venture seemed like a sure thing, the foliage growing greener and lusher by the day, a shocking turn of events thoroughly shook my confidence. A few days ago, I had a little scare when I discovered clumps of greenery missing, some leaves with teethmarks still intact. Bewildered by what could be causing an infestation in my sheltered little dorm room, I guarded my helpless herbs from further attack, waiting to see what malevolent creature would wish to mow down my precious garden. No way was I about to let some unknown eater claim all of my hard work as their dinner!

Well it didn’t take long for the perpetrator to reveal himself- In no time at all, out from behind my bedside table came a yellow blur, dashing towards the plants! Quickly I sprang into action and confronted this… Monster?!

Heart pounding at first glance, fearful of a new and potentially dangerous creature, I couldn’t comprehend what on earth this hungry little guy was until I took a deep breath and a step back…

That’s right, my pest, my horrible and careless destroyer was actually a tiny giraffe, a peaceful herbivore- Not so unlike myself! I thought with surprise. The poor guy, I’m sure he was simply starving by now thanks to this prolonged winter, and still no greenery in sight. Still, that didn’t mean I was about to surrender my hard-earned herb garden! Instead, coaxing the frightened critter away from my sprouts, I dug into my fridge and offered up some leafy kale as a peace offering. Timidly nibbling about the edges at first, he soon warmed this alternative meal, and a new friendship was born. So long as I hit the salad bar everyday and bring him back the leftovers, he’s more than happy to stick around- But leave the herbs!

41 thoughts on “Growing, Growing, Gone!

  1. He’s so cute!!! Giraffes are my favorite animals. Any chance you can give directions how to create such a lovely animal.

  2. Who wrote the rule: “Never start planting before the ground is at least 40 degrees!”?

    That is just silly! It was -19C (er… -2.2F) outside yesterday and I planted all my broccoli, cabbage and pansy seeds for planting out in spring. If I waited until it was above freezing I’d never have a garden. Our weather goes from freezing to 20C (er… 68F?) in only a few weeks.

  3. He he, what a cute giraffe! You have a lovely herb garden. ^-^ My boys planted their first little greenhouse box the other day and the sprouts are popping up. They are so excited. Its making me sad that the ground outside isn’t ready yet for my spring plantings. Luckily their little greenhouse won’t be ready to plant outdoors till just the right time. ^-^

  4. The herbs look beautiful, and so vibrant! I have some space for a garden for the first time in years, but I think I’ll take a shortcut and buy the plants from the farmer’s market… Adorable giraffe, too!

  5. Adorable – I really love that head-on shot. It’s almost like looking into an innocent child’s eyes. LOL. Yes, you really can’t stay mad at that face! And nice to see your herbs doing so well. I hope you will get to use them in some future culinary creation.

  6. I love watching stuff grow (not literally of course, I don’t come home from work and watch plant pots for a couple of hours, or anything….). Especially when you end up with something you can eat!

    I had a little garden of chilli plants a few years ago, and they were also attacked by rogue creatures. Tiny little spider mites rampaged all over, eating all my leaves (luckily they left the chillies for me!), so I had to take action – I decided to encourage nature to take its course, and introduced some hungry-looking ladybirds into the community. Those spider mites never saw them coming, and before long they were no longer the problem.

    But that wasn’t the end of the creepy crawlies – it turns out that ladybirds are pretty feisty beetles after snacking, and soon there were baby ladybirds all over the place! They’re not as cute as they sound either, in fact they look quite like red and black stripy scorpions

    I don’t have chilly plants in my room any more!

  7. First I see beautiful pictures of the herbs, and then you hit me with such an adorable little giraffe! Good grief, look at that face, cuteness overload! :)

  8. Your herbs look great! It is still to chilly here in Canada for my green thumb to start, I hope that the Sun will become warmer soon! I love your little friend he is so cute!

  9. i think your herbs look better than mine ever did! and what a cutie giraffe! : )

    (p.s. i love the cupcake… it’s too adorable! thank you!!!)

  10. when, when, when will i learn not to visit this site? each time i come i get a new toy that i need to knit (and i hate to knit and seam fiddly little bits of legs and such).

    now that i’ve finished knitting the kiwi (which is still in pieces) and have lots of yellow and brown yarn left over…i don’t have a choice, do i? >____<

    p/s i’m actually a huge fan. more please!

  11. You are so lucky to discover the tiny giraffe in time and saved your herbs.

    The giraffe is lovely and the pictures of your herbs look great!

  12. You need to come teach me because every herb or plant I garden ends up dying on me. It’s like they know I am going to eat them anyway. I can sprout things very well though!!! The girafe is too cute!

  13. That’s great that you’re gardening. I can’t wait to do some of my own! But when it calls for planting directly in the ground, as opposed to potting, that may be a little difficult for me. I am petrified of bees!

  14. Great to see that you’re into growing herbs as well. I started mine last year and my basil is flourishing so much that I have to keep re-potting them. My lemon balm turns black at the edge of the leaves which I don’t know why…

    Isn’t it satisfying to cook with your own herbs? =)

    I like your cute giraffe!

  15. Your photos, blog and writing are all amazing!
    I am adding you to my blog roll – I want more people to see your fantastic photography.


  16. I’ve been dying for an herb garden myself, glad it’s working out for you. That giraffe is awfully cute, I would probably give him anything he wanted!

  17. Oh, you have made me smile! Not just for your beautiful animals, but the hope of spring from your gorgeous pictures. Thank you soooooo much!

  18. you can cook, you can knit, you can grow plants…is there something that you can’t do?! That little giraffe is so adorable. I’m also planning on growing a little herb garden once I move into my new apartment, hopefully it’ll come out fine.

  19. I would absolutely love to make the giraffe. I’m new to knitting. I don’t understand how to follow the leg/neck/body charts. Can anyone help?

    Also, I don’t understand how you would start this with “divide sts evenly between needles etc….”
    Please help.

  20. Anna, you might want to try watching some of the videos over at

    They’ve got one for knitting in the round, which will show you how to divide your stitches to join in the round.

    I’m not sure what sorts of videos they have for colourwork, however.

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