Saturday, January 11, 2020


Most days I go out into the herb garden to pick herbs for the kitchen. At this time of the year there is parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, the ever abundant garlic chives and rosemary, which are all good herbs for winter cooking.

Parsley has done a magnificent job of reseeding itself. It is even growing in the pathway cracks. You can never have too much parsley.

Oregano gets cut back several times a year to make sure it stays round and bushy with fresh leaves. Most of my kitchen uses are for dried oregano which I make from the fresh young leaves but I also use fresh oregano chopped with parsley and thyme in herbed polenta. A little goes a long way.

Dried oregano is wonderful when roasting butternut squash. Drizzle the cut side of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and a couple of pinches of the dried crushed oregano.

Sage also was trimmed back this winter so has plenty of fresh new growth. I love to use the fried leaves on top of risotto. This one is the common culinary sage, Salvia officinalis.

It has the added bonus of beautiful sprays of blue flowers in the spring.

S.officinalis flowers. Late March
This one is Salvia officinalis "Berggarten" which has the more rounded leaves. It can also be used in the kitchen although it has a stronger flavor. I use it mainly to add leaf interest to the garden.

I also have a very compact cultivar S. officinalis "minimus" which I have used at the front of the beds.

There is a small thyme bed at the base of the pillar planter. I try to grow a variety of thymes including lemon, variegated silver and German thyme.I shall have to replenish some of these thymes this spring. They get very woody with age.

Alyssum brings some welcome color into the winter garden as well as a sweet fragrance on warm sunny days.

Rosemary is just beginning to flower. For some unknown reason we lost most of our rosemary during the summer. I need to take cuttings this year to replace them.

This week was a tough week for me. Blood work, infusions, met with radiologist, a nuclear injection, followed by surgery on Thursday to remove the cancer and the sentinel nodes. Things are looking good and the preliminary biopsy on the lymph nodes showed the cancer had not spread. I await confirmation of this and the findings on the biopsy of the lumpectomy. Clear margins mean I will move on to the next phase-30 days of radiation! I started the weekend with a much lighter heart and really ready to get back out in the garden. It is perfect timing for the spring garden.


  1. Your herb garden looks fabulous. I really miss fresh herbs during the winter. Dried just aren't as inspiring. Sending lots of positive energy your way to get you through the next month.

  2. Herbs that are both pretty and tasty are such a treat. Glad to hear you got positive news after a tough week - enjoy your garden and lighter heart!

  3. Congratulations on clearing those major medical hurdles, Jenny, and best wishes with the next phase. Your garden will welcome your return!

  4. Winter in your part of the country is lovely. Your herb garden looked great in May, too, when we visited for the Fling. Hurrah for the good news!

  5. I am happy to hear you received positive news! Your garden looks equally beautiful in all seasons.

    Malcolm W.
    Abilene, TX

  6. This is wonderful news, there is lots of garden time in your future!

  7. I always love to see your garden.... and your winter herb garden looks good! Being able to walk out and pick some herbs for dinner is the best! Have you started any vegetable seeds?

  8. Wonderful news and your garden is beautiful xo

  9. Wonderful news, though I know this is no fun at all. I love your spirit and your garden, of course, that never fails to bring joy to you two and to us all!

  10. What a wonderful herb garden! I wish my parsley self-seeded, but I’ll be delighted if they overwinter in NC this year, along with my hardy vegetables.

  11. Your garden must be a source of nourishment for you in so many ways. Thinking of you, Jenny.

  12. Jenny, your garden has inspired me for many years. Wishing you the best .

  13. Needed this: herbs on the groundplane, east side of my house. This should work so well. Too bad this David isn't handy hauling rock slabs uphill out of a canyon, or even hand-pouring large concrete pavers. But I can figure something out...


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