Join us for a virtual tour of our Western Reserve Herb Society Gardens!
Anise Hyssop-An Unsung Herbal Workhorse

"the upside of house arrest by one wishes she was really an herb gardener but is just one who tries".  Episode 1

 By Bobbi Henkel - Western Reserve Herb Society Garden Co-Chair
A Season of Peace & Joy (37)
Before I retired, a friend gave me a book to write down one thing every day that I was grateful for.   She suggested that if I wrote down the things about work I hated and wouldn't miss, then when I was home and bored, I would look back and read them.   It is truly hard for me to imagine I will look back at this particular  House Arrest era and reminisce.   BUT......
A Season of Peace & Joy (44)
     1.   I can drink my morning coffee looking out at my back yard and deciding what I'm going to do based on the weather and how well I slept and I watch the birds.   I have 3 bird feeders.   Maybe the birds have always been there in numbers, but now I see them.   I have an X rated movie going on out there.  There are horny birds chasing each other with ridiculous speed and reckless abandon.  My holly bush has turned into a Bordello.  It's just shocking.    And, the bird feeder my kids bought me that is squirrel proof?  Hah.  And, it isn't deer proof either.
    2.   When I walk the dog, I pass neighbors who smile and wave more than ever before.  My dog just doesn't understand "social distancing."   She sees the same dogs she has sniffed and greeted before in that mortifying doglike way.  But now, their owners and they have to stand farther away.
She is so BUMMED out. She gets that really pathetic look on her face and ends up with a treat. But she really rallies when we get to the baby's house.
A Season of Peace & Joy (38)
    3.   We are visiting our son, daughter in law, and first grandson twice a week.  Temperatures first, and we don't go if anyone even thinks they don't feel good.  Didn't start until we'd all been in and away for 2 weeks.  But, that baby is keeping us going. 10 months old, he acts out when he doesn't get his way. He has brief tantrums for not being allowed to walk  down the steps, because the yogurt puffs in his bowl are gone,  because he doesn't want to nap,  because he has to lie down to get changed and other life shattering tragedies. And, he  can be instantly distracted by a good game of peek a boo with his favorite blanket.  Or singing "Wheels on the Bus".   We are entertaining him so his working from home parents can get some work done.  We are treated to someone else buying our groceries at the store when we haven't gotten something but "need" it.   Mostly, we just love seeing them and they give us joy.  And we experience vicarious relief through those tantrums.
A Season of Peace & Joy (43)
   4.   Back to the dog walks.  Three doors down, there lives a six-year old red headed girl. She and her family were out Christmas morning riding her brand new bike this year.  Just a full of Joy of Living kind of kid..  Well, a week into school closures this 4x6 foot rainbow appeared on her window with the words "Keep smiling."  This week, there was an arrow in one end of the horseshoe driveway and an arrow out on the other end.   And, balloons were on the mailbox.  And, we watched the first drive thru Birthday Party I've ever observed.   Treat bags picked up from the entrance.   BD presents left on a table.   Paused cars singing "happy birthday" to the beaming child on the front porch.   Lemonade from lemons.
A Season of Peace & Joy (39)
    5.   So, when your husband can't sneak out to the gym or to the library, he kind of has no excuse not to help Spring Clean.   So, we actually moved the bedroom furniture and vacuumed behind the dresser and under the Queen sized bed and the bureau.   I think I probably last did that before we painted that room and the painters wanted the furniture either out or pushed into the center of the room.   I'm not revealing when that painting occurred.   I'm also not revealing the size of the dust-bunnies we found under that bed.   I thought of competing with others who have the nerve to confess.   But, it's no contest.  YOU CAN'T TOUCH MINE.
 6.    But the contest I really do want to start is this one:   Who has the worst looking hair in this no beauty shop/barbershop/dog grooming era?   I've got my husband beat so far, but the dog is gaining on us both.  (My grandson might win but his is cute and hasn't ever had a haircut yet.) He probably thinks everyone looks like him.
A Season of Peace & Joy (42)
7.   So my herbs.  Oh yeah. I got cuttings from our Fragrance section last fall and tried to root them.  Well, I cut those Pelargonium below the nodes and stuck them in dirt, or put them in water.  I kept them damp and I changed the water.  Well, I changed the water up through the holidays and then, well maybe not so much.   Anyway, all the dirt clipping grew.  I have about 40.  Almost none of the water ones sprouted any roots.   There must be a trick, or maybe it was too cold out on the screened in porch, or maybe they were a different species. Or those holiday pauses in changing the water?    But, anyway the only problem is I didn't label which Pelargonium I was trimming or plugging in.    So, no worries:  I'll just look them up on line and identify them.   I downloaded PlantSnap and got answers for 4 out of 5 of what I think are different plants.   But I got at least 6 different FAMILIES of plants for the last pot.    I'm bringing that one in to our garden and letting the pro's tell me what I have.
Want me to send you pictures and you guess?


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