This past week my beloved basil plants froze and blackened. Because they had taught me always to seize the day, I had made basil paste the week before, so they live on in spirit. The rosemary plant is the only herb left. It's in the sunniest corner of the front garden plot, and I am betting on it to survive the winter. Chances here are two out of three.
My first rosemary plant survived two mild winters. Last year's rosemary plant I bought, memorably, from the Weird Sisters collective at the St. Louis Pagan Fest. My high hopes for it were dashed after the lengthy February deep-freeze. This year's plant came from a fancy garden shop with a snooty clerk who could barely trouble himself to ring up only a single $3 purchase. Nonetheless it has always been cheerful and bushy.
I like herbs because they teach me. If you have herbs, information about their powers and lore will somehow come to you, as will recipes. Until I grew basil I had never heard of pesto. With rosemary I make a lemon/butter sauce from an Italian recipe known as "chicken under a brick." Maybe free-association gave me the idea, but rather than dig up the rosemary plant and bring it indoors, this year I built a small brick wall around its base to hold heat and protect it from sharp winds.