Sadly, we don’t have quite the outdoor space that we did in D.C. (the pool really takes up a lot of space, it’s a terrible shame…). Nor do we plan to resume such a grand garden, since our two-year time horizon makes it hard to invest in too many living things that we can’t bring back with us.  But since my tomato consumption rivals that of a small village, and we figured that veggies and herbs that will just die off at the end of a well-picked season are the best gardening investment, we have a few pots here and there.

Now, the greenery is under attack!  When we first moved in, we noticed a few snails climbing the walls of outdoor terrace after it would rain.  And then, a few nibbles on the new basil and lettuce.  So I moved most of the smaller herb pots and lettuce planter to our second-story balcony, and that seemed to be the end of it.  Sunny skies, no more nibbles… all was solved.  Then one Friday night, it was cold and rainy and we decided to stay in and make some delicious pasta my favorite way – saute al dente pasta in oil and crushed whole garlic cloves, top with fresh basil and a heavy sprinkling of cherry tomatoes.  Out I went to the garden to grab a fistful of basil and got nothing but shell! Totally freaked, I grabbed out flashlight and there were literally snails everywhere. 

We started collecting them (they especially enjoy hiding among the tall grassy leaves of the bush in one corner of our terrace) and collected a total of 42 snails. Yes, I am guilty of mass extermination of slimy creatures. Since then, our garden has continued to be demolished by more and more snails, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and goodness knows what else lurking in the dark corners.  Heirloom fingerling carrot seedlings that had just sprouted from seeds I smuggled here from the U.S…. gone.  Delicious purple sage, decimated.  House cat, intrigued, but not useful as a side-kick exterminator.  Seriously…not cool.