Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Everything but housemaid's knee

The illnesses of winter broke into my plans a few days ago. I've planned my lemon balm plantation for quite a while now, to have leaves enough for tea for cold and other viral diseases. Then vomiting disease struck our little family, and we put ourselves in voluntary quarantine. I'm ever so grateful that our friends Cicci and Monika did some shopping for us during that time. They called us from ICA (swedish equivalent of Walmart)
"Hallo, did we write the note wrong? Do you really want five lemon balm plants?"

Yes, that's what I wanted. I showered the plants brutally to rinse off most of the thrips, and planted them in my aging herb garden. Some day I'll have to empty the entire container and replant everything with fresh soil, but not untill I've got rid of this cold. My nose feels as thick as an elephant's trunk, and the container do look good on the windowsill.

Reading "Håll krukväxterna friska!" (transl: Keep your potted plants healthy!) by Maj-Lis Pettersson doesn't make this any better. There is an horrible amount of diseases and deficiences for a little plant to contract, and all of them results either in yellow leaves or dry leaf edges. Did you know that mealybugs can hide among roots? And I was so proud that my calamondin at least was free from them. The calamondin and my lemonbalm are currently suffering from all maladies in the book, except for, possibly, fungus as a result of a humid climate.

The cure Maj-Lis Pettersson recommends is simple and full of work; keep the soil humid and shower the plants once a week. My mother used to shower her plants twice a year, and I - well, let's just say that I do it even less often. Mrs Pettersson's methods involving ec-meters and luxmeters seems more fun, since I'm a gadgeteer on a grand scale. I don't care if these contraptions are expensive, I want one of each!

Well, it's time to nurse the cold and my fataly ill calamondin. I'll be back.


Moe @ http://www.iowavoice.com said...

"ICA!" Ha. I live in Iowa with my Swedish wife, but I previously lived in Sweden (Malmo and Lund) while she was finishing school. I loved it! We shopped at ICA, and also Matex :)

Great blog! I'll be coming back regularly!

Rosengeranium said...

Thanks! Malmö and Lund are both pretty nice, although I tend to side with Lund (old universities stick together when there's a third part involved).

jodi said...

Happy Christmas, Rosengeranium...I hope you're feeling better than when you wrote this post. Tis the season for ailments, apparently!

jaxcky said...

Wahoo what a blog!