Sunday, June 26, 2011

Taming of the lemongrass

About twelve months ago, a good friend of mine brought round a pot of lemongrass he'd been growing on his apartment balcony. Sadly his balcony wasn't the most sunny location on the block, and not for lack of effort, what arrived on my doorstep was barely recognisable. With the hope it'd see better days here on the plot, we settled a blade and half worth of lemon grass into my herb garden with the idea that one day we'd divide and plant it back into his Australian Dream. The worst mistake I would make in this whole episode was that I didn't take before and after shots of just how well it grew - so instead you'll just have to make do with my grossly exaggerated descriptions of the plant and my gardening prowess (which I'm sure you're used to by now).

Anyway, the day of judgement arrived today, as this ominously directed photo should indicate.

Short a machete and a bob-cat, I had to fall back on a pair of secateurs and a garden fork (the latter of which came out of the ground a different shape to what it went in) to get the job underway.

Odds are, a picture like that should bring two questions to mind: does the wife know? and how long do you have to live? Luckily for me I did find my garden knife today, because if that had been a kitchen knife, it would never have ventured into the kitchen again - and not because it had been used to cut a root ball, but because the wife would have had to hastily get rid of the body and the evidence. But in any case, we got to this point because the shovel just wouldn't cut it - something that will forever more make me suspicious when a gardening show host makes the shovel division look so easy.

I managed to divide it up into a few very generous clumps, and while we don't cook with lemongrass too often, I've become quite fond of the little guy(s). The blades also make a great mulch that I could use a lot more of - and so clumps have found themselves scattered through the plot in three strategically aesthetic places.

And of course, two clumps made the pilgrimage to my friend's Australian Dream. Sounds like it should have been a TV documentary: a tear would have been brought to your eye as the host made some cliched comment about coming full circle during a slow motion display of mateship. In reality, I shoved them ungraciously into a plastic bag and got him round for the afternoon.