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Mini-Bouquets from my (Herb) Garden

The sun is out! The sky is clear! The rhododendrons are bursting with blooms!  It is  glorious springtime! The mountain is out!

Wait, what? If you wondered about that last statement, you aren’t from western Washington State! On clear days, Mt. Rainier looms over central western WA and that’s how we comment on it. “The mountain is out” is a statement of delight with the clear weather. We get to see it less than 60 days a year; think about that!

It has been so nice for the last week or so. No rain (almost) for days on end. Which is actually getting to be a serious problem in my backyard.  (in your mind, insert foreboding and ominous music strains)

Look! It is Spring-Thyme! ;)

At my house (this is Gail writing) we are “occasional” gardeners. Lackadaisical. Lazy even. Yes, let’s just go with lazy! We like to grow things that we can cook with, as long as they take care of themselves.

So once they are planted, they’re on their own until I come after them with scissors or a kitchen knife. My hubby turns the drip irrigation system on as needed. Nobody weeds, prunes, and I rarely pinch, trim, or transplant.

(… this is going somewhere, really.)

Last August, I had my son rip out 2 of our 3 raised garden beds to re-do. But then he hurt his shoulder. And I couldn’t decide how they should be redesigned. Then he went to London for 3 months, and it started raining. Fast forward to April, when it stopped raining so much.

There’s a MOUNTAIN of dirt in the backyard, with a sprinking of tall skinny weeds having a party all over it, plus one raised garden bed still intact with some transplants that survived the winter. As expected. Also, three large planters of flourishing transplanted herbs.

(Three sage leaves from the plant above will cover your whole hand)

Everything almost always survives the winter here. I’m referring to my garden of herbs and rhubarb.

Strangely, last year (summer of 2012) I had no parsley. It all died over the previous winter. It never got replanted. I was parsley-less. WE HAD TO BUY PARSLEY! It was shocking! But this spring we have 2 volunteer parsley plants so I’m back in business!

So now we come to today! First day this year I am wearing shorts :) First day I sunscreened more than my face :) First day I wore flip-flops outside. I went to check out the garden areas and make some decisions. And that’s when I found the problem I mentioned at the beginning of all this.

Things are wilting! We have to hook up the drip system, like NOW! Usually we can wait until July!

Those of you who are avid, attentive, energetic gardeners are probably shaking your heads and feeling sorry for my plants. Let me tell you, they’re quite happy and thriving. But they are thirsty, and I promise to water them soon.


Meanwhile, I was able to harvest herbs in the sun, do some pinching, some picture-taking, some weeding, and some planning. Did I mention I got to do this in the SUN? With no jacket? :) Happy me! Have I mentioned that I am a sunshine person?

I often cut more herbs than I need and then tuck the extra into vases, pitchers, water glasses, or whatever comes to hand. I love these aromatic bouquets! I often tuck rosemary branches into flower bouquets, too.

Today I made bouquets for several things I will be cooking up today and tomorrow. I cut them ahead of time. The forecast says 80s and sun, but YOU NEVER KNOW AROUND HERE! It might rain instead.

I made a potato-dish bouquet: parsley and chives. Whatever you are doing with potatoes, add parsley and/or chives. You must.


I made a beef-kabob bouquet: trailing rosemary. Chop rosemary and add it to ANY Italian salad dressing or viniagrette and you have a fabulous beef marinade. Fabulous.


I made a chicken-cooking bouquet: thyme and parsley — just add lemon and garlic, maybe some dijon (and more thyme!) and get creative. Delicious!

Tomorrow, I am gathering bouquets from my lilac bush which is in glorious rich purple bloom!

Happy Spring-Thyme!


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