As well as having a couple of upright rosemary bushes on the plot we have one growing in a pot in the garden. We like to have some herbs readily available to pick fresh when cooking.
This year, before the snow descended on us, the plants were looking good and producing flower buds which they seem to do for most of the year if conditions stay mild. You may even be able to spot flower buds and the odd fully open flower on the bush in the photo above which was taken today.
Like those of many herbs, rosemary flowers attract beneficial insects.
Our rosemary success just goes to show that it is worth trying to grow a plant even if you can't provide it with ideal conditions. As an insurance policy and to provide some fresh cooking material we also have a couple of rosemary plants in pots by the garden greenhouse.
To prevent the bush from becoming woody I give it a trim each year.
Most herbs have a mass of folklore and tradition attached to them and rosemary is no exception. In Ancient Greece, students regularly wore garlands of rosemary braided into their hair or around their necks in order to improve their memory when taking exams. Scientific research seems to conclude that the Greeks were correct in this belief and that rosemary indeed stimulates memory.
It is also believed it to be sacred to remembrance, love, loyalty and friendship. Anne of Cleves was supposed to have had sprigs of rosemary in her wedding posy but a fat lot of good it did her!
In the 16 and 17 centuries many believed that the aroma of rosemary would offer protection against the plague when it was worn around the neck, burned in sick rooms or used as an ingredient in a cordial.
Even today rosemary is said to have all manner of healing properties as described on this website.