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Avant Gardener – THE FOCUS IS HERBS – FOR FLAVORS, FOR TEAS, FOR FRAGRANCES; ALSO AN INTERVIEW WITH KRISTEN SMITH, ROSE EXPERT WITH 100-YEAR OLD CONARD PYLE COMPANY.

Broadcasting again a thousand miles apart, Derek (in Florida) and Carolyn (in Pennsylvania) swap opinions about the most useful herbs and how to use them during the holiday season. Carolyn praises parsley as her favorite as it makes a garnish for so many dishes, particularly scrambled eggs and to enhance the flavor of seafood. Derek praises chives as his favorite garnish, useful to add a mild onion flavor to herbal omelets and sprinkled over sour cream with baked potatoes. This exchange is followed by a talk to Kristen Smith, new products manager for Conard Pyle, the old established rose company, in which she explains the difference between several new everblooming rose families, including the Knock Out and Drift disease-resistant series. For gardeners in Western states where black-spot disease is not such a problem, Kristen recommends the Eyetonic series since they are bushy and have a wild rose appearance, each with a dark eye zone around a yellow crown of powdery stamens. One of the emails asks how to get perennial lavender to survive a harsh winter, and Derek answers a listener who is curious about claims made for a special variety of mint called Chocolate Mint and whether it really does taste like chocolate.