Saturday, April 25, 2009

There's Rosemary.......

This afternoon we've spent time in the garden busy with our plan to clear some of the raised beds and move some of the plants to others areas. Many of the lavenders and the thyme have been lost over the wet winter and other plants need moving or replacing. The idea is to use an area at the side of the greenhouse for container planting of herbs, strawberries and other smaller vegetables and use the raised bed that housed the herbs for planting other vegetables. The only problem with this is a rather large Rosemary bush. I love this bush but it had grown so much that it was taking over most of the bed pushing out the chives, thyme, hyssop and good king Henry; in order to move it the bush first needed to be pruned and cuttings to be taken. Paul was doing this as I was removing the nettles, dandelions and buttercups from under the gooseberries and blackcurants; whilst I was working and occasionally wincing as I either scratched myself on the gooseberry thorns or stung myself on the nettles (don't worry there are plenty more of these fine plants left for the wildlife elsewhere in the garden) I could smell the gorgeous scent of the rosemary as it was being pruned.

We've put some of the clippings in a bowl in the house to scent the sitting room. Cuttings have been also taken and potted up ready for re-planting.

Now the original plant is only half the size it was this morning we can leave it to rest a few days before moving it, you can see how old it is from the woody stem.

Our plant is Rosmarinus officinalis, the vertical variety, which, according to my herb book means "dew of the sea". Medicinally it is considered to be useful for all things to do with the head as it increases the supply of blood to the area and has a relaxing and anti-depressive action helping such conditions as head colds, nervous headaches, premature baldness, poor circulation and forgetfulness. It symbolises remembrance - I think most people will know of Ophelia's speech from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5 -
"There's Rosemary, thats for remembrance; pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts."

Hmm - maybe this is something I should keep around the house as I often run up the stairs, open a draw or cupboard or wander into the pantry and have no idea why I've done it or what I was looking for!

Perhaps Rosemary Tea would be the answer.

Recipe for 1 cup

"As a remedy for headache, colic or colds take 2 or 3 tops of rosemary, either flowering or not, and place in a small teapot, then pour one cup of boiling water over them. Cover and infuse for several minutes, then strain and drink warm. The tea many be sweetened with honey if wished."
Quote from 'Herbs for All Seasons' by Rosemary Hemphill

If you want to dry rosemary it needs to be collected in late summer or early autumn.

"Pick in the early morning after the dew has evaporated from the leaves. Tie the herbs in bundles and hang in the shade or lay the branches on airy racks. When quite dry, crumble the leaves from the stems and store in airtight containers, or pack the whole dried stalks with leaves still on them into boxes or jars and close tightly."
Another quote from - Herbs for all Seasons

Oh, what a wonderful scene this drying of herbs and flowers like lavender and rosemary conjours up - what a lovely thing to do if one had an old cottage with a huge kitchen or even better a still room in which to dry flowers and herbs, make pot pourii, bottle fruits and make jams and preserves. Well, I can dream!


  1. I have an overgrown Rosemary bush at the front of the house. I love it. Every morning when I get ion the car, I nip a bit off and sniff at it all day!! I also throw a bit in the bath sometimes. I love herbs.

  2. Hi Rosie,
    I should take cuttings from my Rosemary bush, thanks for the suggestion, maybe now is the right time? Speaking as one who recently placed the cereal box in the fridge along with the milk, maybe I should also brew myself some Rosemary tea?
    "Am I going up these stairs or going down"?

  3. I love Rosemary, yet I don't have any in my own garden. And it makes roasted chicken taste delicious. It seems it was a perfect day in the garden on both ends of the earth. :)

  4. I have a big old rosemary bush too and I love the scent of it. I'm enjoying the wonderful blue flowers at the moment but it will have to be pruned quite a bit once they are over.

  5. I love this rosemary post. Today I am having rosemary with garlic, olive oil and roast potatoes. Yummy! My rosemary bush is looking a bit woody. I think it is time that I took some cuttings too.

  6. Hello :)

    I just clipped my rosemary bush yesterday and am making some tinctures from the clippings. :)

  7. What a lovely posting, I really enjoyed that.

    However you will forgive me when I say that I am a Sal man myself.

  8. I love the dream of the old cottage with the big kitchen, herbs drying and jams cooking... sheer bliss! Thoroughly enjoyed this post! Glad to see you've listed some of your favorite books... I shall check some of them out.

    Oh, I took the quiz and I'm a Wind Fairy too!

  9. I am researching doing my own garden or portable garden as I want to start growing my own herbs and veggies. It's got to be cheaper then going to the store. With the economy the way it is it's more economical.

  10. It's a wonderful experience cutting back or weeding the herb garden. So many wonderful scents!Hopefully in no time, you'll have even more rosemary bushes to enjoy.I like rosemary because it tolerates the poor soil and dry conditions we experience in South Australia...and it goes well with a roast meal- was going to say lamb but I am trying so hard to be vegetarian!

  11. I love rosemary..with lamb..(poor little lamb, I always say I'm so sorry when I eat it)..and in my bath.Maybe I will have ea try and put in my garden too..:))

  12. Thankyou for all the info on rosemary. I do so love it's delicious smell and delicate blue flowers, mine is very woody now.
    The frosts were very hard this winter, I lost a beautiful Jasmin I've had for years that used to flower all through the winter (even though it was the pinkish white kind and not the yellow winter jasmin.