Spinach Survived the Winter


The winter this year was so mild that spinach which I planted and took a first harvest from late fall grew back and survived the whole winter. It is nice and leafy and made a delicious second harvest this year. I was impressed at this variety’s hardiness because even this mild winter had plenty of freezing weather. The variety was Bloomsdale’s Long Standing, if I remember correctly.

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Now I have to wait a while and hope for my seeds to sprout so I can try some radishes.

Rosemary from Cuttings


I didn’t want to let the few leftover sprigs of rosemary I purchased for a recipe to go to waste, so I re-clipped the ends, dipped them in rooting hormone, and stuck them in damp soil. Most of them survived! The surviving 4 have been put in a larger pot and, if they survive to be big, I will not have to buy rosemary again!

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Thyme Grown from Cuttings


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After making a recipe that called for fresh thyme, I had a small amount left over. The grocery store-bought sprigs weren’t going to stay good for long, so I divided them in half and put one half in a glass of water, and the other half dipped in rooting hormone and then into damp soil in a bright area. While the couple of sprigs in water didn’t make it, the thyme in soil has grown roots and is showing new growth. If it can stay strong until the frosts end, then I will have a perpetual source of thyme from now on. No need to get more from the grocery store!

Chamomile, a Hearty Survivor


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Now, this is truly amazing. Sure, the winter has been milder than last year’s, but this little chamomile has been outside since it was casually tossed in the pot at the end of harvesting last fall. It grew and survived all winter until mid-January when I finally took pity and brought it in. Freezing rain, freezing nights, even a little bit of snow hasn’t stopped it. The chamomile now lives on a windowsill and I hope to bring it to bloom in the warm seasons this year. I want to save seeds from this one for sure. It’s supposed to be an annual chamomile. (The variety, for those who are curious, is Zloty Lan Chamomile/Polish Chamomile from Baker Creek.)

Curly Winter Grass Fronds


This is the seedhead of a very hardy grass that we call elephant grass here. It’s a bit of a pest, in my opinion, because the leaves are sharp (no good for weaving- you’ll cut up your hands) and the roots are so strong it’s impossible to pull up. You’ll only hurt yourself if you try. Perhaps it’s named elephant grass because you’d need the strength of an elephant to move it? It grows about 5 feet tall and provides good privacy and can withstand freezing temperatures, drought, and seasonal flooding and doesn’t take much effort to maintain, but I still don’t like finding seedlings of it in my garden. Even when the plant is small, it is incredibly difficult to pull up. A single plant with just a few blades of the sharp grass takes all my strength to remove.

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In the winter, when everything else has died back, it’s rather pretty to look at. I took this photo earlier this month, and since then, a neighbor’s cat has moved into the grass and made it her home, so I don’t disturb that area right now.