Here’s another idea for growing presents: since edible flowers are so fashionable as garnishes right now, why not do a tub of those? (Micro herbs are also in vogue but, as I’m not much of a gardener, I’m not sure if they’re special varieties or if you bonsai ordinary varieties or just pick them young. But you could use this question as a litmus test: if you know the answer, you’re probably the right kind of person to grow them successfully and, if you don’t know, stick with sturdy herbs like full-sized mint.)
I cooked a huge casserole today and put it in the freezer for our skiing trip. It will travel up safely frozen on Friday night and should be mostly thawed for Saturday. (And then I’ll heat it up, of course. Slightly icy beef bourguignon is just about the worst thing I can think of coming home to after a hard day’s skiing!)
 My gardening friend Fiona sometimes gives big tubs of her best compost to friends but this is not likely to please as many people as marigolds and lavender would.
 My sister Wendy has spent the last few years digging up mint from a corner of her garden where she’s now trying to grow ferns and she says that mint is not just sturdy, but indestructible.