For Janet re: the rosemary tree

For Janet who was busy moving her rosemary tree to the compost pile…….I don’t profess to be an expert on rosemary but will share with you my personal experience.

Rosemary is generally hardy here in Boise. That said, if it drops below zero, you will probably want to put a blanket over it or put it in the garage until the cold snap is over. And by all means, keep your rosemary outside. It is too warm in the house. In the house we also tend to baby them and overwater them.

Rod Burke, my dear friend and the head of horticulture at the Botanical Garden here in town, has a gorgeous rosemary tree, shaped like a Christmas tree on his dry and windy deck. I just spoke to him, he has had the tree for three years. He tells me he has watered it just once since the end of November. Other than that, it just gets a little rain and a little snow…………..like the rest of the valley. Rod, I am borrowing that tree for the garden show :). It is as tall as me!

I have a 5 or 6 year old rosemary in a raised bed, at the edge of a retaining wall, excellent drainage, easy to get to (when cooking) and conveniently located so I can brush up against it or drag my hand over it when coming and going. It gets no extra water this time of year. In March, I will trim the bejabbers out of it, down to about 6 inches total height, and will watch it grow like crazy the rest of the year.

Rosemary tends to get very very woody as it matures. For that reason, every year I spring for one more plant, locate it in a completely different spot in the garden, hoping that I will always have an abundance for soft and supple branches for cooking, bouquets, and sharing. A back up plant, if you will. For a couple of bucks you can’t beat that. And quite frankly, I think I would be fairly cranky if I couldn’t go out and snip off the fresh rosemary, year ’round, just a few steps from the kitchen.

Give it another try Janet. And best of luck.