What Do Fresh Herbs and Seashells Have in Common?

I like the beach. No, no … I love the beach. And no matter where I go, I always collect shells—although I never take more than a few. And when I get home, I put them on my window sills … in big glass jars … I even carry one in my purse so when the cold winter months arrive and I reach down into the pockets of my bag and touch the shell, the memories take me back to my happy place.

I’ve always found it interesting that some beaches have an endless supply of shells—some whole, some broken, some stark white, some pink, some rainbow in color with shimmering skin akin to mother of pearl—while other beaches have almost no shells at all. Growing up in the PNW I was told the beaches there don’t have as many shells wash up onshore because the coastline is so much rougher than the shores of the lower Pacific; think Southern Cal, the Baja Peninsula and lower. And truthfully, the surf does seem angrier the farther north one travels up HWY 101 … so it makes sense. Whether it’s entirely true or not, I can’t say—there are, of course other theories … one being that mollusks congregate where there’s food, and some beaches simply don’t provide enough. Makes sense. Regardless, one thing’s for sure—there are some beaches with tons of shells, and others with very few.

But Since I’ve had the good fortune to travel places with lots of shells, I’ve found myself with an overabundance. And what did I do with those shells … (caveat, it was actually my husband who came up with the idea) I lined my herb garden. And now every time I snip some basil, mint, parsley or cilantro or chives, I see my shells and I am happy.

world marketOhhhhh I do have one other idea for extra shells … check out this wind chime. I bought this one from World Market, but now that I have the idea, I’m going to string my own soon.

Do tell—what do you do with the shells you collect?

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