Report From PIA – December 11
The low is expected to be in the mid-twenties tonight; winter is here. Fortunately, along with the cold temperatures come some pleasures of the season. I love making a fire in the woodstove and brewing a cup of tea as the sky darkens, savoring the end of the workday and being cozy at home.
When I put the water on today, I realized that my cup of tea could contain one of the delights of the summer season: lemon verbena. Few refer to this delightful herb by it’s botanic name, Aloysia triphylla, but many enjoy the heavenly fragrance of the foliage.
We pulled our lemon verbena plants indoors last week, hoping to keep them alive until after New Year’s. The people we will spending that holiday with like our rum and lemon verbena concoction we call A Slippery Slope, and having a taste of summer seems a good way to celebrate our passage into 2010.
Although I try to keep several tender plants indoors through the winter, I also appreciate that some things are kept as seasonal joys. I love taking out my collection of cone ornaments and bottlebrush trees at this time of year, and appreciate them in a way that I never would if they were displayed year round.
So it is with plants. Inhaling the fragrance of tomato foliage, basil or lemon verbena in the summertime reminds me to celebrate that season while these plants are in the garden. The radiant heat from the woodstove, my five o’clock tea as the daylight fades, and putting out my holiday collections commemorate winter, and prompt me to rejoice in cycles and change.