Round Robin: Y2K, Enjoyment, Color and Scent

Notes from Regional Herb Gardeners

| December/January 1999

Y2K for Herbies

- Andy Van Hevelingen

NEWBERG, Oregon— It’s hard to believe a new millennium in herb growing is just around the corner. I’m a little worried— it took me the last millennium to get to where I am now.

So what lies ahead for us Y2K herbies? Will our herb gardens cease to function? Will we be inundated with weed glitches in our borders and pathways? I doubt that anything will change much from the past 1,000 years. I’ll still have weeds and slugs in my garden, and there will still be plenty of herbs for me to covet, collect, and fuss over. Herb gardens have a remarkable way of remaining timeless.

The saying “When the world wearies, there is always the garden” is true for me. Although its chores can be burdensome, I don’t like to be away from it for long. I’m always eager to return to my greenhouse bench to pot up or propagate new starts. It is my solace and therapy.

Rosemary, which signifies remembrance in the language of flowers, has been named the International Herb Association’s Herb of the Year for 2000. What better way to go into the future—the twenty-first century—than by ­remembering the past? Rosemary certainly gets my vote as it always ­surprises me by blooming at the worst time of the year. In Oregon, many of the hardy upright cultivars typically bloom in late fall through very early spring, seemingly oblivious to storms and cold ­unless the temperature drops below freezing. At least the prostrate forms have the sense to bloom later in spring.

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