The dirt crumbles under my fingers. My hair is full of raindrops. Bright green laughs against the backdrop of the still-awakening forest. I laugh along and talk to them.

“Little basils, I want to be sure you have enough room to grow. How about six of you in this planter box, would that be OK?”

“What do you think, Mr. Thai Basil? You look tall and strong. How about moving in with the spearmint?”

mint and thai basil

“Oh, look at those lovely little fronds on you, dill! Now that your roots are loosened, you can really stretch into that soil.”

Easter Sunday seems just the right day to begin the herb growing cycle again.

This winter has renewed my faith in the persistence of life. The herbs survived months of cold and snow, and I survived with them.

Everything but the sage and basil rose again from the dirt: The oregano, thyme, chives, spearmint, peppermint, bee balm, lavender, all have re-emerged in their pots on the deck.

Even a sprig of lemon balm has surprised me with a sudden appearance after it had vanished into the dirt for the winter.


lemon balm and dill

None of us were sure how this would go – bringing in fresh plants to put alongside the veterans. Maybe that’s why I put it off for more than a week.

I heard some grumbling from both sides.

“Sheesh, are we just going to sit here on the table all spring?” muttered the newbies.

“Aren’t we good enough? Who are these upstarts?” groused the oldsters.

Now, though, everyone seems downright perky. Within minutes of the repotting, they are standing up tall and turning their faces to the soft rain.

“You’re going to have a great summer,” I tell them.

They nod and smile.

Today’s penny is a 2012, my first year of real success with my herbs. Before that, we both struggled.