Well, here's evidence that those four herbs are alive and (reasonably) well in my garden, despite the severe weather we had around Christmas time.
Parsley never does very well in my garden over the Winter. I count myself lucky if any of it is harvestable. Unfortunately we like to eat it in "vegetable" rather than "herb" quantities, so we often have to buy it!
Some of the Parsley has gone very yellow. Although it's not useable for culinary purposes, it does actually look quite pretty. These pots are inside my coldframe.
I have some mature Sage bushes, which are very hardy. Even in the depths of Winter we can usually count on being able to get some nice leaves. In this picture (taken on 9th Jan) you can see frost on the tips.
The potted Purple Sage and Variegated Sage plants have gone very leggy. The only leaves are right at the tips of the branches. In the Spring I will probably re-pot them and take some cuttings. You can promote new growth from the crown of a plant like this by piling up compost in the centre of the pot and covering the lower stems. New shoots will almost certainly appear.
The Rosemary is doing better than it did last Winter, when I thought I had lost it all to the weather. Although the bushes have a few brown leaves, they are looking pretty strong at present.
This is the same bush, photographed on 18 December.
At this point of the year the Thyme is (unsurprisingly) hibernating and conserving its energy. The leaves are small, tough and dry-looking. Probably not the sort of thing you would want in a casserole. But in the Spring the plants will put on new, soft growth. The plants in pots are relatively easy to look after, (I have a couple in the coldframe). This one is doing OK. It's one I don't usually cut for culinary purposes, preferring instead to let it flower.
The plants growing in the open borders are perhaps a bit less happy. This one is has got lots of leaves trapped in its foliage, and it probably hates being in the cold soil anyway!
It's a shame in a way that most of the herbs we like best are essentially Mediterranean ones - like Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Basil. It means I need to take extra trouble looking after them and helping them survive the Winter. Hopefully I will reap the reward in the Summer...