This attractive but
slightly tender evergreen shrub needs well-drained
soil in a sunny, sheltered spot – grow in
the shrub border, herb garden or in a tub close
to a south-facing wall. Regular picking and spring
pruning should keep the bush about 2ft (60cm)
high, with both its needle-like leaves and blue
flowers being highly aromatic and suitable for
You can sow seed in May but it is much more convenient
to buy a pot-grown plant in spring. There are
several decorative variegated types, but they
are less hardy than the ordinary green rosemary.
Winter frosts and icy winds in early spring may
kill some of the shoots but new growth will appear
from the base. After a number of years rosemary
becomes rather bare and leggy, and so it is a
good idea to renew every 3 years with rooted cuttings.
The most important thing to remember is that rosemary
is strong flavoured and should therefore be used
very sparingly. It is a traditional flavouring
for lamb, pork and veal – inset a few springs
before roasting and remove before serving. It
can also be used with poultry, eggs and fish.