Nothing says summer like freshly picked herbs, and as a chef who has a passion for gardening, growing herbs just seemed like the logical choice. At The Lenox, we are fortunate enough to have the perfect place to do so-11 stories up on our rooftop. A few weeks back we undertook the project of getting our little garden going. Armed with 4 fir planters, some organic soil, compost and some beautiful basil, thyme, mint and oregano, we began.
As the plan was coming together, it occurred to me that filling our planters from the bottom up with soil would have made them unreasonably heavy, but what to do? I reached out to some gardening friends and was given many suggestions as to what to place in the bottom of the planters. Ideas ranged from packing peanuts (that seemed a bit messy), rocks (too heavy), pine cones (not many to be found in the back bay) and empty water bottles. Water bottles? Perfect! Our guest room water bottles are made from almost all plant based materials. In two days, we were able to gather 300 empty water bottles from guest rooms and business meetings, and after a quick wash we filled the planters about halfway up. In went the dirt, a mix of organic potting soil and compost, and finally the herbs.
The basil and mint, which are fast growers, have doubled in size in the past 2 weeks. The thyme and oregano are not far behind. As the herbs get bigger and begin to flower it is our hope that our native bee hive (we have an apiary on the other side of the roof) will seek to pollinate in our garden.
In a few weeks, the herbs will be ready for picking. If you’re in one of our outlets around that time, there’s a good chance that the basil on your margherita pizza, or the mint in your mojito was grown with love, 11 stories up.