One of the plants that continues to thrive through the winter months is the common houseleek. The scientific name, Spempervivum, means “live forever,” as indeed it does. The species that we planted is Sempervivum tectorum. “Tectorum” is translated “of roofs.” Apparently, Charlemagne, ordered all villagers to plant houseleeks on their sod, or thatched roof. The plant was also known as “Jupiter’s beard” and believed to ward off all lightning bolts cast by the God of Thunder. Interestingly, that’s also how the term “house plants” began. Rather than bring the nature indoors, house plants were literally grown on the house.