Gardening with herbs and exercising the senses

W- and I spent Sunday afternoon gardening. We dug up the boxes, amended the raised beds with nine bags of sheep manure, and filled the deck planter boxes with soil. We had bought twenty bunches of seedlings the day before at this corner store that had a large variety of plants and sold them cheaper than Home Depot or Rona did. Somehow we managed to squeeze all of them in.

I love gardening with herbs. Pulling up weeds among the lavender sprigs, separating the basil seedlings, planting cilantro in the boxes – all those scents wafting through the air, sticking to my fingers. The memories of tastes: basil in pesto and salad and sauce, oregano spicing things up, rosemary sprinkled on potatoes or sausage. And then the softness of a fine tilth, still a touch sandy but better than it was when we started. Our garden doesn’t have a lot of colour, but maybe we’ll plant more flowers next year. Other people’s gardens and the Toronto parks are filled with vibrant colours. This week, the tulips are putting on a show.

Computer work is abstract, but I’ve been building other senses into my life. Drawing teaches me to look more closely, and painting (digital – less clean-up!) gives me a new appreciation for colour combinations. Touch comes from kneading dough and working the soil and cuddling the cats. My husband and I both enjoy cooking, so that takes care of taste and smell. Sound is the one sense I tend to forget. I tend to find music distracting and earphones have a high failure rate in our household (aforementioned cats), so I usually work in silence. Maybe I’ll play around with that.

  • Anne Mowat

    Sacha, that’s great, urban gardening…I love fresh herbs.

    About sound. Most sound is distracting when one is working. Unless your job doesn’t involve that much cognitive intensity (like, say, when I’m washing the dishes).

    I find sometimes, music that is soft and contemplative calms me into a different mode when I’m working to deadline. Keeps me from feeling that overwhelmed sense that there is too much work to do in the time available. Deuter. Some tracks from Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds (see the movie Press Pause Play – fab!)