Rosemary has a long and wonderful history, stretching back to ancient Greek and Roman times, and it’s very rich in symbolism. But it’s best known association these days is with remembrance, which derives from its reputation of fidelity and the ability to improve the memory. In fact, students in ancient Greece would wear sprigs of rosemary for this purpose.
How you grow it
Its symbolism abounds but it is also excellent to grow. Native to the Mediterranean region, it’s drought hardy once established, and grows equally well in garden beds or pots. It needs full sun and well-drained soil, whether it’s growing in a garden bed or a container.
Make sure containers have plenty of drainage holes, and don’t use saucers – the plants hate having wet feet!
You can start a young plant in a medium pot about 20cm diameter, then move to a larger pot as it matures. A mature bush can reach about 1m high and 1m wide.
In terms of ongoing maintenance, the good news for you is there’s not much. Feed once a year with a slow-release fertiliser and prune back old shrubs if they become too large and woody.
When pruning, keep sturdier stalks for skewers – just strip most of the leaves from the stem, leaving a tuft at the end. Thread on chunks of meat and vegetables for grilling. Tasty as…
How you use it
The essential partner to lamb, especially roast lamb, rosemary has all sorts of other culinary uses. Bake in breads and scones, use in stews and braises, add to soups and also use in fish dishes. These days, the combo of rosemary and sea salt has become one of the favourite flavourings among snack foods.
Go for yum
A tray of potatoes, roasted with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary, is homemade comfort food at its best.