Grandmother ALWAYS insisted that you MUST add a bay leave to homemade soups/stews. Imagine hers were ANCIENT, cuz never knew they actually had an aroma or flavor until I bought some to start my kitchen when I got married??
Bought a small bay "tree" several years ago. Here in NJ, it lives on my deck from late-April till maybe late-October. If in the ground, in a sheltered area... and no KILLER cold winter... would probably survive, but I never took the chance.
When I brought it iin last fall, put it on a tall stool in front of a nice sunny window... tree probably 2' tall or so. Unfortunately, that window was in a room I generally don't go into on a regular basis. One day, noticed it was totally WILTED! I put pot in kitchen sink and gave it a generous soak in hopes of reviving it... NO luck!?!
Next did what I call a "kill it, or cure it" trim. Cut EVERYTHING off down to where I saw green wood. Ended up with a HUGE messa leaves... shared with brother and sister... won't need to buy them for a LONG time. Thought plant was indeed DEAD and bought another plant... then started sprouting after a few months. Gonna give one of them to my sister.
For several YEARS, I succeeded in killing those cute rosemary "Christmas trees". Then heard on an NPR garden show that the FIRST thing to do with them is get them OUT of the pot and into somethiing much larger... nothing but ROOTS! Heard rosemary doesn't like "wet feet', but if ya neglect to water it & it gets droopy... it's dying soon! This is also something that would have a decent chance of surviving in the ground in my area, but it'll come inside before it gets frosty.
Have a few planters of a variety of herbs living on my deck... chives, sage, oregano and a few others. When we get a nip in the air, gonna repot into hanging baskets, so I can hang them where I'll SEE them everyday and not forget about.
Have thought about all the "seed" things in my spice cabinet... do ya thiink they would sprout?