Rosemary’s Garden

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The following is a guest post from Aunt B. of Tiny Cat Pants. Guest posting is a new feature here at the Home-Ec 101 community and I hope that all of you are welcoming to those who have volunteered their time and energy with their contributions. I am deeply grateful.

AuntB Aunt B says:

So, I’ve been thinking, trying to come up with the one bit of household wisdom I would impart on y’all.  What have I done around the house that was easy enough that most everyone can do it and has made my life a little nicer?

Plant rosemary.

If you don’t have any place outside, you can grow it in a pot in a window. Just resist the temptation to over-water it. But if you do have space outside, the wonderful thing about rosemary is that, as long as it gets sunlight, it can grow just about anywhere. And it’s a perennial, so it will grow anywhere for a long time.

rosemaryI grew it right outside my front door at my duplex, in a bed filled with construction debris and Tennessee clay. I just mixed in some good potting soil I had for my houseplants first.  Now I’ve got it growing right next to the front steps at my house and let me tell you, it doesn’t get watered other than the rain and I just pull the weeds that are growing in it out when I think to.  And it is thriving.  The more you just let it be, the happier it is.

So, you have the satisfaction of growing something that smells good, even if you don’t have much gardening talent, and you now have on-hand a great and versatile fresh herb. Whenever you want some, you just go out with your kitchen shears and cut off what you need.

If you want to make kabobs, cut some of the woodier growth and use that as your skewers. Any meat you would pair with a red wine will be complimented nicely by rosemary.  Shoot, do you have a boring chicken breast?  Throw some rosemary into the pan with it while it cooks (if you are in the habit of cooking chicken breasts or tenders on a Foreman grill, believe me, throwing a sprig of rosemary on top of each piece will infuse it with flavor in a way that makes it a whole new beast).

And that’s just throwing it in with some stuff. You’ll also have it on-hand whenever a recipe calls for it.  Or whenever you just want to go run your hands through it so that you smell great all day.

Betsy Phillips blogs at Tiny Cat Pants as “Aunt B.” and at Pith in the Wind under her given name. She also has a monstrous garden that has taken over a third of her back yard. She regularly goes out and cusses at it, but that has not helped rein it in.

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9 thoughts on “Rosemary’s Garden”

  1. I love Rosemary. Even planted in full sun, though, mine got real leggy, like they were looking for something. 🙂 I moved two to my front porch.. now I wonder if they’ll grow out to the sun, more. Might have to rethink that. It amazes me, around town, when I talk about planted rosemary, how much food establishment type people, have no idea that’s what it is.. meanwhile, I’m out caressing it like its a pet. ::giggle::

  2. Even I can grow rosemary, and I can't even grow zucchini, even though everyone can grow zuccini.

    The fragrance is so relaxing. I don't mind at all if my hands smell like Rosemary for a while after I've picked some to use in pork, or for my daughter to use in her famous Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread (which won her "Best of Show for All Baked Items" at the county fair a couple weeks ago! Can you imagine? It won out over cakes and pies and cookies and muffins, as well as all other breads! It's the Rosemary!)

    Question for Aunt B — I have my rosemary in a pot outside. I can't put it in the ground at this time (for reasons I would get upset about if I went into, so I won't). Would it be best to bring it inside before really cold weather? Or could it survive the winter outside in a pot?

  3. Living in Canada, I have become so used to tucking the garden to bed in the fall, I never considered keeping my rosemary! Maybe this year I'll dig it up and put it in a pot! :o)

  4. I love growing rosemary! I have had some in a pot in my back yard for………….um, I think it's been about 5 years now. I live in southeast Virginia, so it does just fine outside in the winter. It is thriving pretty well, and I do nothing to it except cut pieces off here and there. 🙂

  5. ThatBobbieGirl, if you are in an area that gets a hard frost, I wouldn't leave your rosemary outdoors (unless you have a particularly leaky house and can put it up against the house). You really don't want those roots to freeze solid or it'll kill the plant (at least in my experience). But, if it's well-established in a pot outside, bringing it inside late in the fall and putting it in a sunny window usually doesn't hurt it. And, like Cynthia said, if the pot is big enough and you live some place where you don't get days and days of below freezing weather, it's pretty hearty.

  6. I live in Upstate South Carolina – we do have frost – and my rosemarys have lived outside for nearly 20 years. And they bloom all winter! If I could only have one plant, it would be rosemary.

  7. Recipe for my favorite hot summer day: open a bottle of sauvignon blanc (nothing fancy), cut off some younger sprigs of rosemary, and insert them in the bottle. Refrigerate for an hour or so and enjoy!


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