Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Parks and ponds are good by day;
I do not delight
In black acres of the night,
Nor my unseasoned step disturbs
The sleeps of trees or dreams of herbs.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-1883), Poets of the English Language (Viking Press, 1950), American transcendentalist, essayist, poet and lecturer

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I’ve grown herbs randomly on the properties we’ve owned over the years, not without great joy, but the thing that often lighted the “acres of night” for me was the dream of an herb garden outside our kitchen. The days for that are past – and that’s okay – but still I went today for a short class delivered by two Master Gardeners at San Mateo Arboretum’s Kohl Pump House, which is a part of the park that my apartment cum writing-studio overlooks. It was pure delight.

2014, photos, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photos taken with a Moto G smart phone.


  1. Ah herbs, how I have longed to grow them, but alas, I have lived until this years with nothing but shade – that however has its own rewards. I am trying out our new deck before planting herbs. And unfortunately there is anosmia, but luckily it comes and goes (at the moment). Loved this Jamie. Thank you.


    1. Oh that no fun at all, Liz, and I suppose it effects your sense of taste as well.

      You could grow them on your terrace. I thought of that when I saw th great pics you posted on FB. According to the ladies who taught this class, they need six-to-eight hours of sun a day. My place has a lot of light and I was hoping that it would work to grow some inside, but probably not. If you do some yourself, I hope you enjoy and can get some sense of the scents. They are pretty too.


  2. There is nothing better than herbs and vegetables picked fresh from the garden and into the pot. Unfortunately our garden is not best for growing, try as my ever patient wife does, it just doesn’t seem to happen with any great success lately, primarily because of a 100 feet tall sycamore tree that overshadows the garden for 50% of the summer days! One day, soon, that tree is going to have to go. As for Priscilla’s landlord ‘weeding’ out the oregano … ignorance is someone else’s bliss!


    1. Oh, I know. We used to love our salads fresh from the garden. Best and most statisfying thing in the whole world, satisfying to eye, nose and taste. Yum!

      I agree about the oregano. Poor Priscilla. 😦


  3. Funny this should be your theme when I am mourning the demise of my only current gardening project: a perennial oregano plant. I came home from work to find that my landlord had been “weeding”, I guess, because the entire plant was ripped out of its bed. *sigh* I did so carefully introduce his wife to the plant and its fragrant leaves, hoping to avoid this.


    1. That is so sad, Priscilla. The same thing happened to a friend of mine in Redwood City. She came home one day and all her herbs and strawberries were gone. 😦 So sorry.


    1. Hi, dear Paula! 🙂 Well, everything is food for the pen sooner or later. This class was a lot of fun. I’m thinking you must be missing your old place sometimes because of its yard or garden spaces.


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