Time to Start Planting

I’m taking a breather this week, still recovering from my birthday bash. Greg took me shopping. He said I could buy whatever I wanted. I’m sure he expected me to ask for jewelry–or maybe even a new dog.

Nope. Well…the dog was close, but Nana said she was the only dog for me so that’s that. She intends to keep me all to herself. To keep peace in the family, I opted for buying some new plants. Nothing makes me happier than browsing through a nursery. Aren’t I lucky to be born in the spring? 🙂

This year Greg wants to plant a small herb garden by his shop. I’ve got two huge rosemary bushes that could donate some cuttings. Basil is easy to grow, and lavender is always pretty (and smells soooo good). We bought some basil, Italian oregano (of course, Italian!), dill weed, spearmint for the chickens, fern leaf lavender (new to me), and lemon thyme.

I picked these bulbs up from a clearance bin. Does anyone know what they are?

My plan is to start several small plots to grow herbs year round. Some are tender so I’ll probably replant them yearly rather than bring them inside, but a lot of herbs survive and thrive in Texas weather. This will be my first real year to find out.

My buddy, Stacy McKitrick mentioned in a comment about dipping artichoke leaves and the whole idea left my mouth watering. I’ve only ever tasted marinated artichokes. It’s about time I tried artichokes a la naturale. This year, I am going to try and grow artichokes. I don’t know if they’ll make it through the Texas heat but I’ll do my best to keep them alive.

To top off my birthday, a dear friend sent me something from my Amazon wish list. They were saffron flower bulbs. You know saffron. That wildly expensive spice. They come from a tiny blue flower. I’ve been researching it lately and it’s been a steep learning curve. Who knew there were so many facets to saffron?

I’ll have to write a post about it. but first let’s see if I can get it to grow for me.



Meanwhile, let me leave you with this neat YouTube video of gardening tips.
10 Gardening Tips Every Gardener Should Know


There are some great tips in this gardening video. I didn’t know about the aspirin hack.

Are you gardening this year? My mom (who lives in Chicago) says it’s still too cold by her, but it won’t be long. We suffer more from hail storms this time of year. We had one Sunday night, but somehow it missed us completely. One of my friends lost all her spring flowers–and she just planted them that morning. Every gardener knows we take our chances in the spring.

Have you ever lost your garden to a freak storm? Do you grow herbs? I’ve grown the odd herb here and there, but this year I’d like to make a real effort.


PS  I had a fabulous birthday. Bought some plants and played in the garden for a few hours. That night we had the most amazing dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Pappasito’s. I even had a margarita. It was delicious, but half a glass and I was already tipsy. Had to let Greg finish it off. A great day all around.

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  1. Yeh for a fun birthday!

    Ah, basil! I know some tortoises who will help you keep those basil plants pruned. 🙂

    Growing up, we occasionally had stuffed artichokes – leaves stuffed with breadcrumbs and parmesan, etc. They were delicious but my Mom said they took forever to make.

  2. I absolutely love my herbs and have been planting them for years, with that rain we had last night I’m thinking of getting out there and propagating a few for our future move. Leaving plants behind that you love is difficult.. Looks like you got an awesome selection, fresh basil…. I can hardly wait.. I noticed a couple volunteers in my herb bed from last year sprouting. Excited and I think they’ll be moving with me..

    • Hi Carole!
      When I moved from east Texas to north Texas I tried to take as many cuttings and bulbs from the old homestead to the new. Some didn’t make it, preferring the more acidic soil of east Texas, but I still have a few. My favorite has been the ajuga. It’s so unassuming for a ground cover until the blue flowers pop up.

      You’ll never regret bringing some of your old plants to the new place. It’s like carrying a bit of your history with you.

  3. Jenny Schwartz

    Going to the nursery is the best! I hate that so many nurseries here have vanished. When I was a kid, they were everywhere. Now they’re mostly attached to a large hardware store chain. I’m intrigued how the saffron growing goes. Good luck! Maybe you’ll start a new industry in Texas 🙂

  4. So glad you had a nice birthday! Sounded delicious with dinner! I’m not much of a gardener, but we did buy some citronella plants this past weekend to ward off the very healthy mosquitoes in the back yard. Let us know your success (and hopefully not failure) with the artichokes.


    • Betty: I am shocked you have mosquitoes in Arizona. You’d think it’d be too dry for them. The one thing I don’t miss about east Texas are the mosquitoes.

      re: artichokes
      There weren’t many seeds in the package, but it’s enough for an experiment. We shall see.

  5. My mom [late] used to do lots of gardening back in native town and she was best in her doings .
    i live in a city now [ASIA ]and have little garden area wher we planted a neem tree and lots of other plants along with seasonal flowers.
    how lovely to prefer plants over jewelry and pet !
    you sound so enthusiastic for your spring preparations friend and wishing you bEST OF LUCK for this

  6. I love Pappasitos, especially their margaritas! I could never leave one unfinished (as long as someone else is driving). I have been planting spring flowers to fill in the empty spots in our backyard. I haven’t bought herbs yet, but you have inspired me to get on it.

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