I have to thank dearly the woman who, last year, gifted herb plants to me before she moved out of state. She is an herbalist who was leaving behind beautiful, nurtured relationships she had been bonding with for years; her herb garden. It spanned across her entire back yard around the side and to the front of her ranch style house. A wondrous array of various herbs, trees, stone paths, and fairy garden trinkets. A naturally intoxicating environment that was loved and deeply cared for. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it must have been to leave behind.
She knew every herb, where it was, and what it was used for. She caressed, and smelled their fragrances as she proudly described them to me. She even knew the proper ways to transplant them, so as not to injure them and reduce their survival rate. While we were gathering herbs, (which consisted of me feeling guilty as I watched a woman my mother’s age do all the physical labor while I somewhat, with her help, kept an eye on my newly 2 year old son) I was trying my best to retain knowledge of what plants she was giving me. It turns out I couldn’t and didn’t. I am still waiting, as they slowly reveal themselves, to be able to identify the ones I am unsure of.
The process took longer than expected due to our ongoing conversations about herbs, moving, and motherhood. By the end, my children were hungry, tired, and resistant! Then I realized there was going to be more tending to once getting home–I still needed to replant all these herbs. This would be the only way to guarantee survival. My daughter collected fairy garden trinkets as we walked throughout the pathways and Jane encouraged her take things home if she liked. Lucy’s pile grew quickly and she was eager to get home and set them up in the garden. Determination set-in for both of us.
I packed the children, plants, stones, and other small treasures into the car and drove home. Immediately after putting my 2 year old down for a nap, my daughter and I worked diligently to evaluate, dig, and plant my herbs around the side and front of the house. Exhausted but motivated by the excitement of thinking about the following spring when these empty spaces would finally be abundant with new life; little green leaves of organic health and beauty summoning butterflies, bees, birds, and other pollinators to this luscious sustenance!
Now the time has finally arrived! The plants are peeking through the ground. There are some that are more bountiful than I expected in Northeast WI this time if year. The Meadowsweet, Yarrow, Wild Geranium and Catmint are the earliest risers. I can’t wait to see as the heat sets in, what array of colors and scents arise. I am still trying to identify a few unknowns…
I’m unsure of what the one above is. I will be sure to research soon and start labeling plants I need to familiarize myself with. One trick I’ve found on how to remember plants best is to grow them from seed. It’s hard to forget the identity of a child❤️🌻!
~Thank you Jane~