Jessy Rushing is a Texas gardener who fell in love with herbs after tripping into a rosemary shrub one day. The scent on her clothes cheered her up all afternoon. Her curiosity was aroused and since then her herb gardening has been part investigation, part experimentation and most importantly, part delight.
Hooray! It’s finally spring. After months of chilly hibernation the earth is waking up to greet us once again. My herbie radar goes into overdrive during this time of year and I’m on the prowl for celebrations of all things herbal. How fortunate to know about the Herb Fest in Beaumont, Texas—my old stompin’ grounds.
Every year, a group called “Thyme for Herbs” puts on an Herb Fest at the Beaumont Botanical Gardens. There are vendors, speakers, and plants, plants, plants.
This year I was nearly overcome with delight because in addition to a lovely array of herbs (I bought 14!) one of the guest speakers was author Susan Wittig Albert. If you’re unfamiliar with the China Bayles mysteries that Susan writes, do pick one up. Besides the intriguing mystery, each book is a wealth of herbal lore, quirky information and recipes. I just started her latest “Mourning Gloria,” and it’s another winner.
Check out her website About Thyme for more information and news about her other books, blogs and newsletter.
Other speakers on the roster were Judy Barnett, who has a wonderful book, “What Can I do with my Herbs?” This book is brimming with information about uses for herbs besides cooking.
Beaumont’s own Bird Mangels gave a fabulous presentation on edible flowers, complete with a cake made with rose petals.
With each speaker I was able to add to my herbal knowledge while also increasing my curiosity and urge to know even more.
Scout your own area for herb clubs and herbal groups to join, or start one of your own. We learn so much when we share our knowledge and curiosity. My granddaughter Hannah, who lives in California, sent me “Flat Hannah” to see some sights of Texas. In addition to our lovely Texas bluebonnets, “Flat Hannah” had her picture taken with Susan and my friend Christina Ledee of "Thyme for Herbs." You never know what will spark a child’s interest in herbs and gardening.
This was a short, wonderful trip, full of the growth, use and especially the delight of herbs. Whenever I work with the beautiful herbs I bought, I’ll remember this weekend, the people, the plants, and I’ll smile.