Thursday, March 3, 2011

new rosemary cuttings

From medieval monastic gardens to modern doorstep herb pots, rosemary has held an almost revered place in the hierarchy of herbs. Why is that, I wonder? I'd be glad to hear stories about the importance of this plant. In ancient times, it was thought to heighten memory, to strengthen bonds of love, and as a symbol of fidelity. Wearing rosemary leaves in a bag around your neck was believed to protect you from fevers.

In our more scientific era, it has been shown to relieve headaches, improve memory, strengthen the heart and circulatory system, regulate blood pressure, and improve digestion. Wow!

Rosemary originally came to us from the Mediterranean region, where it is still used liberally to flavor meats, breads, vegetables and wine. Someone said, "It comforts the heart and quickens the spirit." I live that. Whatever the magic of this aromatic herb, it certainly seems to have found a place in our hearts today.

If you have a rosemary plant that you would like to use to start some new plants, you can take cuttings of 1-2 year-old branches, at least 3 inches in length. Cut off the top of each cutting, remove the lower leaves and leave just one whorl of leaves high on the stem. Stick the lower part of the cutting in a tray of wet sand, make a tent of plastic over the tray to keep in moisture, and put in a warm and light place until a good root system develops. Here's a photo of some of my little rosemary cuttings, working at putting out new roots. Aren't they beautiful?

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