Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2012 The Year of the Herb

The National Garden Bureau and the Herb Society of America have named 2012 the Year of the Herbs!

The International Herb Association has named 2012 the Year of the Rose!

Looks like a busy year for gardeners striving to be involved in the year of herbs and roses.  Members of these respective non-profits voted their "Top Ten" list:

  1. Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  2. Chives(Allium schoenoprasum)
  3. Dill (Anethum graveolens).
  4. Greek oregano (Organum vulgare hirtum)
  5. Bay (Laurus nobilis)
  6. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  7. Common thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  8. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
  9. Common sage (Salvia officinalis)
  10. Lavender (Lavandula)

The IHA is promoting the rose as a herb because of the many edible uses for the petals and the seed heads.  The seed heads, called hips, are a common ingredient in teas, herbal medicines and natural vitamins.  (Use only roses not treated with chemicals.)

How easy to get involved in this year's herb extravaganza.  Grow from seed or buy plant sets.  All of the above "Top Ten" are easily found, pretty easy to grow and can be used in your cooking and food preservation.  Not to mention they are lovely plants in the gardens.

I typically don't lay down in front of moving traffic for my ideals - although I do occasionally pick up the pen for what I consider a deserving cause.  Today, there appears to be one looming in California at UCLA.  Check out   If you find the cause to preserve this garden something you care to support, sign their petition.  They need 2,000 signatures. 


It's especially difficult to insure even the simplest home gardens will be preserved once the original gardener sells the property.  It may be the new owners simply can't afford the gardens, doesn't want or can't  work at gardening, loves the house/hates the yard, has different tastes or priorities, or who knows...   With the above Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, even a trust with an organization and signed legal documents aren't insurance a national treasure will be preserved.  How less insured is a simple family garden.

If gardening is your passion, I suggest you involve your family - the next generation if possible.  It's a reason to take time from the process and enjoy the beauty you create.  Photograph your gardens and invite others to enjoy your works.  As-much-as most of us think our particular garden is wonderful, the next resident may not.  (Right here I visualize many a gardener clutching at their heart with a little whimper of disbelief!)  I know, who wouldn't love the daylilies, the old walnut trees, the hosta, the old brick paths, etc. etc. etc.????  

My garden instruction for the day:  
Enjoy your gardens every single chance you get.  

“Who loves a garden still his Eden keeps, perennial pleasures plants,
and wholesome harvests reaps.”
- Amos Bronson Alcott, American educator, philosopher (born 1799)

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