Inside and out

Rosemary

Rosemary

When you start looking into its qualities, rosemary can be quite intimidating, it seems to be good for everything: it makes hair grow strong and shiny, rejuvenates skin, boosts memory and concentration, sharpens eyesight, thins the blood and helps lower the risk of cancer. The impressive resume is due to the fact that this blessed plant is rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A, C and B6, folate, and some other plant specific compounds that act synergistically.

Bunny

Garden guest

Rabbits come to our garden quite often, but they don't usually stop to pose for a picture. This one did.

Of course this is not why I couldn't get out of the garden center without two small rosemary pots, that happened because I love its flavor, I can't leave a plant nursery without becoming the proud owner of something green and leafy and the very healthy rosemary bush I was planning to overwinter succumbed to a surprise early freeze last fall.

Dried rosemary doesn't hold a candle to the fresh sprigs which are succulent and fragrant and go with chicken, fish, pork, lamb, and almost any sauce, soup or stew, so there's that reason...

I got used to having a pot of rosemary around, it is so green and fresh, it lifts my spirits and looks like the picture of health.

This doesn't explain the lemon verbena and a couple of seed packets that just happened to join it. I couldn't help it, ok? They had every garden herb, temptation was everywhere, within arm's reach, thyme, lavender, a gazillion mints, tarragon, parsley, you name it, they had it. It was just too much, I'm only human...

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Lavender

Lavender

Since plant foliage usually doesn't come in this hue, even for the namesake plant itself, and this is the first time lavender came out of winter looking alive, I didn't know if this was old growth I should prune or evergreen growth I should leave alone, so I looked up lavender care online.

There are conflicting opinions about the correct way to prune a lavender shrub, some say you should prune it after it blooms, to keep the plant bushy and compact, others that it is slow to put out new growth and trimming leafless branches sets it back and doesn't allow it to thrive.

I'm going to use my own rule of thumb, which is: if you don't know how and when to prune a plant, don't improvise. Lavender made it through eons of evolution all by itself, I'm sure it will be just fine without my help, even if it might grow a little leggy.

I'm so excited to have perennial lavender in the herb garden, this must be the English variety, the more resilient one. The lemon balm, chamomile and thyme are also alive and well, it looks like a good maintenance regimen is all that's needed.

Today the breeze felt balmy and tropical and it carried a delicate unidentifiable fragrance. I don't want the vegetation to struggle under winter debris, so I'll speed up the cleaning schedule, spring can sweep in so suddenly.

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