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Rosemary - What is Rosemary?

Rosemary - Its Many Uses

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Rosemary

Rosemary

© A.Jeanroy

What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary, (Rosemarinus officinalis), is a delicious and beautiful herb. You can find many varieties to fit your need: upright and trailing. Use them interchangeably and even grow multiple varieties as each is distinctly different looking. I use trailing varieties for my herb standards. I braid three stems and use those as the main stem. It gives a more decorative look to my finished standard.

The ancients were well acquainted with the shrub, which had a reputation for strengthening the memory. On this account it became the emblem of fidelity for lovers. It holds a special position among herbs from the symbolism attached to it. Not only was it used at weddings, but also at funerals, for decking churches and banqueting halls at festivals, as incense in religious ceremonies. In early times, Rosemary was freely cultivated in kitchen gardens and came to represent the dominant influence of the house mistress. 'Where Rosemary flourished, the woman ruled.' In place of more costly incense, the ancients used Rosemary in their religious ceremonies. An old French name for it was Incensier.

How To Grow Rosemary

Rosemary succeeds best in a light, rather dry soil, and in a sheltered situation, such as the base of a low wall with a south aspect. On a chalk soil it grows smaller, but is more fragrant. The silver and gold striped kinds are not quite so hardy. If you are living in a northern zone, plant your rosemary in pots to move indoors when the weather grows cooler. Rosemary grows very well as an indoor plant as well.

What Foods Does Rosemary Compliment?

Rosemary is a strongly scented herb. It pairs well with butter for a rich spread. It also compliments poultry and potato dishes. Rosemary is easily dried and used throughout the winter. Crush the needle like leaves in your hand to release its volatile oils before adding to your recipe. The stems can also be used as skewers and they will infuse your meat with a fabulous flavor.
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