Thursday, 27 August 2009

Thursdays favourite plant

Rosemary(Rosmarinus officinalis)

This is one herb I could never be without. If I was only allowed one herb no scratch that if i was only allowed one herb there would be a mutiny and I'd find a way of sneaking more in.
So Rosemary, I find the scent of rosemary so comforting and warm, there was always a huge bush of it in my mums old garden and I used to lie on the grass hidden by it reading Watership down and Narnia, so the smell reminds me of home. Its supposed to grow in the gardens where the women wears the trousers or if your rosemary grows rampant your daughters will never marry (not true well not in my case anyway) or something (I'll have to dig out my book on old wives tales) Its also considered a lucky plant to grow by your garden gate. Its also supposed to be really good for you drunk as a tea but as much I love the smell of it I've never fancied Drinking it.

I use Rosemary more in autumn and winter cooking, roast potatoes, stews, tomato pasta sauces, pumpkin soup etc. Its a very robust flavour that lends itself better towards the colder months than summer. Saying that though I keep a jar of sugar with a sprig of rosemary in the larder for baking, and I make a mean rosemary and honey cake with the little flowers sprinkled over the icing, that I only ever bake in summer. Just remember a little bit goes a long way.

Rosemary couldn't be easier to grow, just remember being a Mediterranean plant it needs really really good drainage. If you grow them in pots you want about 50/50 mix of compost and grit/sand. If it looks far to sandy then its about right. If you have it in the ground dig in plenty of sand/grit to the planting hole. If your soil is heavy and holds moisture or clay than I'd play it safe and grow them in pots. They can grow quite huge in the ground if they're happy. Ohh and never ever over water them.

There is more info here

One last thing watch out for Rosemary beetle. Why do all the nasty bugs look so pretty with the exception of beautiful beneficial ladybirds or the evil Vine weevil that looks quite harmless and dull.

1 comment:

John Gray said...

lovely blog entry...
could you do one about fennel??
I would be interested


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