I'd like to introduce you to my favorite herb plant: Sweet Cicely. The dainty fernlike leaves have a gentle licorice fragrance. I've never eaten even one leaf, but I love it for garnishing sliced fresh peaches. It leaves a tiny bit of fragrance on the peaches, but its fresh and fragile beauty is its finest feature. Those fernlike leaves remind me of childhood wanderings through the cool green woods at my Grandma's house.
My first sweet cicely plant was a gift from a friend when I began growing herbs. It was the summer before I got married, and I was planting herbs in containers, preparing for marriage to a gourmet cook. I knew that we would not be financially prosperous newlyweds, and I thought a few herbs would spice up our cheap food. I had the basics (rosemary, chives, thyme) and sweet cicely seemed an exotic addition to my collection. It grew slowly, but several years into our marriage, the plant was large enough to use for garnishing.
When we moved to the desert, I took a small sweet cicely plant in a pot. One leaf held on bravely for awhile, but the tiny plant did not survive the year. In the five years since then, I've ordered plants from Nichols nursery and ebay, but I haven't had much luck. A year ago I was surprised to find a few tiny leaves appearing where I thought I had completely lost the plants. But within the month they too were gone.
I've given up. I'll try again someday when we move to a cooler climate. I miss my favorite herb; perhaps I'll find a botanical print I can hang on the wall while I await a more herb-friendly environment.
(Read about Sweet Cicely at http://www.gardenguides.com/plants/info/herbs/sweetcicely.asp )
This week, Weekend Herb Blogging is hosted by http://ostwestwind.twoday.net/. Rules for Weekend Herb Blogging are here.