Some people have been showing off their crocuses, but mine are still buried under snow along with the snowdrops and scillas. The only crocus I can boast of is this autumn crocus which will only have leaves until the summer. In midsummer the leaves will wither and die. This is the time they should be divided or moved, but I never remember to do this. In the fall, flowers grow right out of the ground, needed no stem, and they glow a tender amythyst in the sun.
Our house faces south and the first plants to welcome spring are in my herb garden – along with the autumn crocuses that were planted there for no good reason. Sweet cicely, with its fine ferny leaves and anise flavor can be used in cooking, or tossed in a salad. After it has set seed, which it does fairly early in the summer, it looses its fresh fragility, but the seeds are flavorful, tasting of licorice. According to an herb book it is difficult to start from seed, but my experience is that little plants come up near by with no effort on my part.
I use sage quite a lot and any plant I put in this garden does very well, until winter comes. This was a large plant in the fall, but most of it was winter killed. Only this one branch seems to have come through unscathed. Upon full recovery I should have all the sage I need.
I have bee balm in two colors and you’d think I could remember which is which. Not so. This is unfortunate because it increases prolifically and I have plenty to share at plant sales and exchanges, but I have to warn buyers or exchangers that it could be red or purple, and promise them if they get the wrong one they can come back to me and we’ll dig up the correct one when it is in bloom. I’ m sure this failing does not put me on anyone’s favorite gardener list.
My memory fails me here too, but I think this is the golden marjoram I bought last year which is doing beautifully. I can’t say I used it much in the kitchen, but it is very attractive in the garden.