Today seemed like a good day to share some of the little things that have made me and my family happy in recent weeks, in an almost-summer edition of Worth Keeping In Your Pockets.
Backyard herb gardening: I've been planting an herb garden on my back deck for as long as I can remember; it's a simple pleasure that lasts all summer long. I use three planters that I keep right by the kitchen door, so that I can easily gather bits of whatever fresh, fragrant greens I need when I'm preparing meals. Growing herbs is super easy and doesn't require much space. I simply fill the planters with a vegetable soil mix and nestle a variety of herb plants from a garden centre in a pleasing arrangement within them. With regular watering, I have wonderful smelling and tasting herbs to use right through to the cool fall weather. Some of my favourite plants to grow are basil (lots of basil!!), oregano, parsley, rosemary, lemon thyme, chives, and chocolate mint (perfect for garnishing desserts and cool drinks).
"Toad"ally cute: I have always loved toads. (Is that weird? Yes? Oh well.) I found one in our yard near the vegetable gardens a few weeks ago and I caught him in my hands for a few minutes so I could show him to the boys. They were as taken with him as I was. When I read somewhere a few days later that a single toad can eat several thousand insects (slugs, too!) in one season, I wanted to do what I could to encourage our little toad friend to come back and stick around for the summer. I found this toad house at Lee Valley and Will and I had fun finding the perfect shady spot in our flower garden to place it in. (It even has a back door so a toad can make a quick getaway if a predator tries to enter his house!) We hope the toads like their new home.
A new backyard sport: Have you heard of slacklining before? It involves walking across a long, narrow piece of flexible webbing that is fastened between two trees at a low height, and it's supposed to be great fun! I've seen slacklining kits for sale recently at Mastermind Toys and I think it's something the boys would love to have strung up between the trees in our yard -- I'd really like to investigate it further this summer. I probably shouldn't rave about this activity until we've tested it out (my worst-case scenario mind is picturing some sort of backyard circus disaster!), but it seems like a summer adventure worth sharing. If you've tried slacklining before and would like to tell me about your experience, I'd love to hear it!