Grow Your Own Rosemary
is a shrubby plant with needle-like leaves which can grow up to 5ft (1.5m) high. With careful pruning it can be maintained as a pot-grown indoor plant of a size up to about 2ft (60cm) and it makes an attractive sight when in flower. The flavour is strong in cooking and the growing plant is pleasantly aromatic.
Sow in early spring in a light, sandy,-based potting mixture. Provide sufficient lime content by adding crushed eggshells or a small amount of garden lime. Transfer to small individual pots to grow on and keep them well watered. Seed-raised plants are not harvested until the second year. Water plants generously throughout their lives- the leaves quickly drop if conditions are too dry —but make sure the potting mixture drains freely as waterlogging will damage the roots.
Rosemary can also be propagated fromtaken during spring or early summer, or stock can be started from a purchased pot-grown plant. Do not be too quick to pot on a rosemary plant, as it tends to thrive when slightly pot-bound and gains no advantage from having a large area or depth of soil. Pruning not only controls the spread of this shrub, it helps to maintain vigorous, bushy growth.
Rosemary is another versatile cooking herb, suited to meat dishes or eggs and cheese. It makes a pleasantly aromatic contribution to broths, stews and risottos, and equally to marinades and vinegar dressings. It is particularly complementary to green vegetables and mushrooms.
The cosmetic value of rosemary has long been recognized in addition to its culinary uses. Water in which rosemary has been boiled makes an excellent skin freshener or a fragrant hair rinse for brunettes.