This year an herb garden was added to the “rooms” that were already installed. It was a compromise between Jim and I. The property and gardens are divided between ornamental for me, and pracical/productive or food for him. Actually it created practical and productive results for me as well. It resulted in adding a “bloom” of flavor for the kitchen as well as the garden. Not only did it add to the plentifullness of Jim’s garden, but it inspired new activity in the kitchen. It’s amazing how significant the change was to have fresh herbs just outside the door that could be grabbed in a moment. Recipes that would have been put on hold to try later, when I could get the herbs, were executed immediately. I keep a pair of scissors in the utensil jar to grab as inspiration required.

Not only did the new section of the garden add immediate satisaction and impulse, but it’s providing a continual burst of flavor in foods this winter. Jim bought bottles and plain virgin olive oil to infuse with the taste of our summer garden. I can now chum and tantalize diners as I saute and cook with these potent oils all winter. English Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, French Shallot, Tarragon, Garlic, or any combination, are all just a reach away in the winter kitchen. All inspired by flavored oils that I used to buy at a high price point with less potency.

These, plus the bay leaf wreath that Jim bought me for Christmas, are wonderful gifts from nature, the garden, and a little effort in the spring. I dont think that I could do without them now that I have them. It only takes a few weeks of waiting, some occassional shaking, and a little imagination. The joy of strolling through the garden, tasting the herbs, and talking about the possibilities of them was an additional treat. Several types of mints were available. Watching visiting children chose thier favorite herbs to bruise and infuse their water or ice teas, was a treat in itself to the adults watching them interact with the garden. My inner child was enthused with them. If your considering adding herbs to your garden, I highly recommend it.

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