Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gardening: The Alluring Curry Plant

From the spring of 1997 until the end of summer 1998, I lived in Wymondham (pronounced "windem"), England. Wymondham is a little town just outside of Norwich, Norfolk. We lived in a lovely flint stone terrace cottage in the center of town. It was heaven, we had Thai, Indian, chip shop, corner shop, bakery (2 actually) and a video shop all in walking distance. During the summer we were inundated with the smells of Thai and Indian food. The Thai place was parallel to our back garden, so we could smell them cooking out their back door. Although the Thai place was closer, we always had a stronger scent of Indian food. That was until one day when our land lady, Brigid, informed us that the scent was actually from a curry plant that was just outside the kitchen window.

It looks a lot like lavender, with blossoms that resemble dill. The one we had in England was fairly large. The smell was so intoxicating, it really does smell like curry! When you cut it, like most things, the smell is even stronger. It doesn't taste at all like curry, which is a little deceiving. But still, to have something smell so divine, I'm not complaining.

Recently, my mother and I were down town at the Farms' Market and decided to pop into Whole Foods, where I was greeted by that familiar smell. It is the first time since Wymonham that I had seen one! (Though my mom said that Gordon Ramsey was on Martha, cooking fish with curry plant) It was still small when I brought it home, so we decided to leave it in the container to allow it to grow a bit before transplanting it. It is still in the original container, and we're having a dilemma of where to plant it. We've really enjoyed having it in the lanai, but my current container is just too small (and crowded with thyme, dill, basil and chives), so I'm thinking of planting it just outside of the lanai. I've got loads of room in the rosemary planter, but it's too far away from the area where we spend the most amount of time. Whole Foods are going to try to order another one so I can plant one where originally intended, and one on the other side to completely fill the lanai with whiff of curry. Hope the neighbors don't mind!!!
Here is a link for more information on Wymondham:

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