It’s only the middle of February but I’m starting to hallucinate signs of spring, like clumps of chives poking up through the soil. Our mint recently began showing signs of life, and even the tarragon patch has put up a few delicate young stems, thanks to legitimate sunshine this weekend. This is good news. For me fresh tarragon ranks up there with basil as a favorite herb, and as it’s our fourth year of hosting these guys I’m hoping they’ll finally get large enough for continuous harvesting. (Smart gardeners who read the directions and plant in a sunny, well-drained spot can get big plants in half the time.) Anyway all the new growth looks so green and lovely right now next to the droopy sage and frostbitten oregano. This summer I’d like to add lemon verbena, another tender perennial herb that’s supposedly hard to kill, though I’ve proven once already that it is possible.