The Magic of Rosemary: Unveiling Its Many Shades

Three shades of rosemary

Rosemary is no ordinary herb. Its versatility, ruggedness, and distinctive aroma make it a favorite among herb enthusiasts. From its black gold resin to its health benefits, there’s so much to love about Rosemary. In this article, we’ll explore the different shades of Rosemary and how you can incorporate this magical herb into your life.

The Aromatic Wonder: Rosemary’s Black Gold

When you trim Rosemary without gloves, your fingers become covered in a sticky black resin, which is actually an oil. This “black gold” is what gives Rosemary its aromatic, flavorful, and healthful properties. Scientists are constantly discovering new benefits of Rosemary as they research its chemical constituents.

Landscaping with Rosemary

Rosemary gracing the driveway

Rosemary is not only a culinary delight but also a beautiful addition to your landscape. At Mountain Valley Growers, they have extensive experience with using Rosemary in their nursery. One small Rosemary plant that was planted over 30 years ago has now grown to almost five feet high and twenty plus feet wide. Rosemary’s resilience is evident; even with minimal water and under extreme conditions, it managed to survive and thrive.

The Unexpected Beauty: Rosemary in Bloom

Rosemary in full bloom

Many people have preconceived notions about Rosemary, envisioning poorly maintained parking lot plantings. However, when they see the dark blue flower of an upright Rosemary in full bloom, their perception changes. The regal variety of Rosemary at Mountain Valley Growers surprises visitors with its vibrant colors and captivating fragrance.

Growing and Caring for Rosemary

Rosemary is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in a sunny location with well-draining soil. It can tolerate dry conditions, making it suitable for regions with hot climates. Proper pruning after blooming is essential to ensure a healthy plant and abundant flowers in the following year. Although Rosemary can withstand low temperatures, it’s advisable to protect it during harsh winters or grow it as a container plant.

Exploring Rosemary Varieties

There is a wide range of Rosemary varieties available, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are some standout variations:

  • Upright Rosemary: This variety flows outward and forms a perfect circle, making it ideal for the native landscape. Its large leaves and high oil content make it great for cooking.
  • Creeping or Trailing Rosemary: With its trailing growth and pale blue flowers, this Rosemary is a beauty. It’s perfect for planter boxes or creating a cascading effect on walls.
  • Pine Scented Rosemary: Chefs love this variety for its fine-textured leaves and excellent flavor. Its soft leaves are more suitable for fresh use.
  • Arp Rosemary and Madalene Hill Rosemary: These cold-hardy varieties can survive in harsh winter conditions, with ratings of minus 15 degrees once established.
  • Pink Rosemary and White Rosemary: These visually striking varieties offer delicate colors and unique branch formations.
  • Golden Rain Rosemary: This smaller Rosemary variety features golden foliage that brightens up any garden.
  • Blue Boy Rosemary: The smallest of all varieties, it’s perfect for containers or as a border plant. Its small leaves and light blue pearls for flowers add charm to any space.
  • Spice Islands Rosemary: With its thick, juicy leaves and upright growth, this variety is loved by gardeners and cooks alike.

Cooking with Rosemary

Rosemary’s fragrance and flavor add a special touch to any dish. Whether you’re making a warming stew or barbecuing potatoes, Rosemary enhances the taste and aroma. Fresh Rosemary is recommended for cooking, but dried Rosemary works as well.

Which Rosemary Will You Choose?

No matter which variety of Rosemary you choose, you’ll be rewarded with rich aromas, flavors, and colors. Whether it’s for landscaping, cooking, or simply enjoying its beauty, Rosemary is sure to bring magic to your life. So, go ahead and explore the many shades of Rosemary—discover the wonders of this extraordinary herb!

Note: All images used in this article are courtesy of Rowe Organic.