LAST YEAR, I CAME TO TONGA with a selection of herb seeds: lemon grass, oregano, chives, basil, cilantro, and out of all of them, the basil was the easiest to grow. This handful of leaves (pictured above) is a second generation plant - the mother plant which I planted one year ago went to seed about six months ago, and from those seeds, this plant grew. The mother plant is just now flowering and going to seed for the second time. I never much used the mother's leaves for cooking, so she got tall and spindly, but these next ones, I'm going to keep them manicured into a short round bush and in the vegetative growth rather than letting them flower - I think this will work, although I'm very new to horticulture, an herb garden here at the house is teaching me a lot about seeds, growth, cycles, stages, and the very lovely fresh starts.
This handful of basil sits on my table and reminds me that fresh starts are full of potential. To plant a seed is a powerful thing.
So here's to fresh starts (and I hope we are all planning on planting something special this year, with its fun double digit 1-1). May our sowing this year bring us harvests of abundance. Happy Planting 2011!