Oregon’s horticultural dreams become pandemic reality


Herb gardens are immensely popular and easy

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With the pandemic upon us and more people spending more time at home, more people than ever are getting their hands dirty and turning their horticultural dreams into reality.

The virus may have a lot of things shut down, but with the smell of spring in the air, area garden and home stores are starting to see more people wanting to get outside their own homes and plant things.

“We see people who haven’t been gardening before and they come in and they say, ‘Well, this is my first time,’ and so you walk them through it and they look at what they can create and they’re so excited,” said Mark Bigej with Al’s Garden & Home. “It’s just super fun to see that excitement in their eyes.”

It should come as no surprise that with more people staying closer to home — there’s more interest in growing more things in and around the house.

Bigej said more people are focused on expanding livable space around their house.

“We’re seeing people making fire pits, getting patio furniture, tables and chairs for outside so that they can get outside the four walls,” he told KOIN 6 News. “They’ve been in while it’s been cold and wet and they can get outside into the outdoors. And honestly I think with traveling being down so much this summer that that trend is just going to continue. People are really going to want to live outdoors.”

At the top of the list for new plantings: herb gardens with basil are far and away the most popular herb. Rosemary grows like a weed as well.

Bigej said you can plant them in the ground, grow them in pots, simple raised beds, add sunlight and water and you’re on.

The most popular plant are geraniums, bright and beautiful. Also sunpatients, which grow in sunlight and bloom all the way into the fall, are very popular.

Garden centers tend to be large and populated with lots of plants, so they’re naturally a great place to be able to have a good deal of physical distance between you and others.

It is a fun place to be with all the color and all the aspiration of newly shut-in people looking for an outdoor outlet for their energy.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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