Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gardens in Glass Houses

During a trip to Ikea for a bedframe and a bath rug, I crossed paths with a tiny greenhouse called a “Socker.” Inspired by impulsive thoughts of upgrading Angelina’s terrarium, I tracked one down in the garden section. One month later, after puzzling together all of the essential parts of the apartment, I constructed the flimsy glass structure only to realize that it had no base. Nonetheless, I may be able to fill it with potted plants.

I have placed it on a Socker-sized ledge in front of the window above my sink, where the former tenants kept a large microwave. It will not do much good to put plants in it now as the window is obscured by wood planks. In the meantime I will have to be satisfied with wilted cilantro.

After a month of complaining about the lack of natural light in my apartment, I received a very useful Christmas gift from my mom: An Agrosun Dayspot 60 watt grow light kit. Now I can illuminate the shadowing corners where my plants will dwell and allow them to believe that this tiny lamp is the natural sun that its species evolved under.

Perhaps I should set the light up beside the Socker to create the ultimate underground gardening paradise. I have not plotted what plants to pot, but right now I’m leaning towards herbs. As much as I would enjoy a greenhouse full of flytraps, but I’d really like something I can cook with. For practical reasons, I will not attempt to grow melons.

The aforementioned wilted cilantro was obtained yesterday morning from the produce section an Italian grocery story. So far, I have found local grocery store herbs incredibly underwhelming. In Stop and Shop, I find the herbs shriveled on their death beds torpidly bleeding their last drops of chlorophyll.

At the Italian grocery store, I find the herbs drowning in torrential rains produced by a sprinkler mechanism installed above the shelves. Most grocery stores mist their leafy greens to make them shiny or whatever, but the Italian grocery store sprays theirs every other minute. Three times while I was standing in the produce section a recording of a summer thunder storm emitted from the speakers and a shower of water poured onto the produce.

I picked up the cilantro with two fingers and shook it for a minute or so. To create the same heavily-moistened effect, they might submerge the herbs in a swimming pool and have pool boys in swim trunks fish them out with nets upon customer request.

Cilantro is number one on my list of things to plant, followed shortly after by parsley.

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