Give rosemary a try.

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”
— Shakespeare’s Hamlet to Ophelia

When we moved almost 2 years ago, to a new home with no landscaping, we had our work cut out for us. It seems like the first year all we did on the weekends was plant, transplant, change our minds and re-transplant. A few winners stood up to our fickleness and are really thriving. Rosemary is one of them.

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Rosemary is pretty easy to grow. It tolerates drought, likes good drainage, a sunny spot and neutral soil. Rosemary offers many varieties, and while some varieties are susceptible to frost, others might work in your area. Of course with any plantings be sure to check zone requirements.

Did you know that rosemary is extremely high in iron, calcium and Vitamin B6? It’s a great choice to have on hand to add to many recipes or homemade spa products. And it’s not just for the herb garden. We’ve used it in many areas of our landscaping. We planted a prostrate variety around our patio and it’s growing like a weed, plus it smells great when lounging close by – and it’s so darn purdy!

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Here are a few random tidbits about rosemary you may have not known…

Did you know that rosemary has long been known for improving memory? I didn’t (or maybe I did know it but forgot). A study in recent years tested this theory by pumping the rosemary fragrance into cubicles where people were working. They showed improved memory as well as a real hankerin’ for roasted lamb. Lately I can’t get from one room to the next without forgetting what I was getting ready to do. Maybe I should put some rosemary around the house?

Along with its reputation for improving memory rosemary has long been a symbol for remembrance, friendship, loyalty and fidelity. It’s long been used in weddings, funerals and other ceremonies in Europe and Australia for what it represents. Come to think of it, it would make a lovely addition to a bouquet.

There’s plenty of good reading and other information on medicinal use, recipes and other historical facts about this old cultivar. Be sure to check it out the next time you’re at your local garden store.