Last year I started planting a small herb garden. I've no plans to have an elaborate herb garden, but as someone who enjoys cooking I want to have a reasonable selection of commonly used herbs that I can pick (or cut) fresh. I started out last year with some of the more commonly used ones, including thyme, bay leaves and mint. Now, around a year later, I'm adding to that with basil and a few others. Unfortunately the winter seems to have extended into a good part of spring, so most people's gardening plans have probably been delayed by a few weeks.
Yesterday I picked up some basil and coriander in a local supermarket. The economics behind the decision were simple - a small bag of cut basil was going to cost me €1.15, while a full plant was under €1.50. So for a few cents more I can have fresh herbs for months (or longer) instead of ending up with some rather limp leaves in a plastic bag in a few days time.
Growing herbs from seed might be viable, but it's simpler to just buy a baby plant from a gardening centre. I've found over the years that the taste of food cooked with freshly cut herbs is significantly better - the flavours are so much stronger and you can add herbs to the simplest of things and make them less bland.
Also the fruit bushes I planted last year somehow managed to survive the winter. Will they bloom and produce fruit? I've no idea, but I'm fairly optimistic. If nothing else they're still alive, which is more than I could have hoped for.
I'll need to do a bit of weeding around the fruit plants over the next couple of days as I really don't want them to be choked to death at this stage.