Friday, October 10, 2014

Rosemary the Short and the Tall of it.

 Rosemary Chef's Choice (L) and Rosemary officinalis (R)

As we scanned the pics of this week's spec load I asked Jessy for her choice. Her immediate thought was why not highlight the difference between Rosemary Chef's Choice and R. officinalis. Smart. Well there it is... a great compact form that spreads and the classic bush Rosemary.

Chef's Choice constantly amazes us. We ended up with 500 more plants than planned last year... 500 pots! We'll never sell that many. We stuck a few in Hanging baskets in desperation and guess what? They all sold including the baskets, so now we always pot a few baskets along with the 200mm pots.  Just as tough as any Rosemary and the growth habit is just fantastic. It is a hybrid protected by PBR so we have to buy in tubes and use the official labels, hence they are more expensive than...

Rosemary officinalis. I love these because we take our own cuttings from a plant in Mark's back yard. Just look at the shape and freshness.

Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean. The Gardener John Evelyn (1620-1706) reported that the perfume was strong "thirty leagues off, at sea, upon the coast of Spain". It had been introduced to Britain much earlier, at roughly the same time as Basil and Cannabis c. 1340 possibly by returning Crusaders.

The name, Rosmarinus officinalis refers to  early names "Rose of the Sea" and "Sea Dew". There is another theory that the name is biblical referring to the Virgin Mary and a bed of roses. Traditionally Rosemary was used at weddings and signified love.  In Australia & New Zealand we have the tradition of Rosemary for Remembrance relating to the wild Rosemary growing on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Being native to the harsh coast of the Mediterranean it is ideally suited to any Melbourne garden with well drained soil.  We grow them in the full sun but they will grow happily in dappled shade. Rosemary flowers through the winter and benefits hugely from a solid pruning to shape early in Spring as the new growth first appears.  Of course if you regularly cut sprigs for cooking the plant will keep its shape.

Personally I like it on a very plain pizza with sliced potato.




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1 comment:

  1. Excellent and detailed information on the rosemary plant. The rosemary plant in the image looks beautiful and you have written beautifully.

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