Plant Spotlight - Rosemary
ROSEMARY (Rosemarinus officinalis)
Good old Rosemary, our faithful winter chum, keeps on giving through these cold months. Its delicate, blue flowers are blooming NOW by my front door, which is early. One of my desert island herbs, I use it in tea, pesto, oils, tonics, throw it in with roast vegetables, meats and warming stews. Natural partners are anchovy, lamb, winter squash, lemon and chocolate. Sprinkle the pretty flowers through salads, soft goats cheese or butter. They aren’t just decoration - they have a lovely ‘rosemary’ flavour.
A year round companion in the herb garden, right now we can benefit from its anti-microbial properties to arm us against coughs and colds. It is also said to stimulate circulation to the brain and enhance memory – and boy do I need that in my life! Just pop 3 or 4 sprigs in a teapot and top with hot water. It still doesn’t take much to distract me but at least I feel I’m trying!
Don’t try and grow Rosemary from seed. Buy a potted plant (from a good local garden centre or ideally a specialist herb nursery like Jekka’s Herb Farm, Norfolk Herbs or Poyntzfield) and you can take cuttings in the future to build up stock. I particularly like the prostrate type for beautiful form that spills over the edges of pots or beds.