Thursday

Growing Rosemary in Cold Climates

Rosemary is a big favorite at my house. From keeping a dwarf rosemary Christmas tree to having creeping rosemary as a companion in my flowerbeds, this old gal is a friend who defines the herb keeping hobby for me. I made my first herb wreath using rosemary as a base.

I purchased my stock from a local strip mall where the cobbler in residence had a big rosemary bush just outside his door. He gave me permission to "prune as much as you want, honey." From then on, I don't think a year has gone by that I haven't made some craft using rosemary from my garden.

With all the newer plant varieties popping up everywhere, it pays to check up on old favorites every now and then. Rosemary is a good example. Rosemary isn't frost tolerant. . . . or wasn't frost tolerant.

Some newer rosemary varieties are hardy to Zone 5. If you've always dreamed of having a rosemary bush of your very own that would overwinter outdoors, try the Madalene Hill or Arp varieties. Times, they are a changing, and sometimes that's a good thing.

A quick tip: Don't throw your rosemary stems away in fall when you harvest the needles. Keep them to throw in the coals when you barbecue. If they're thick enough, you can even use them as skewers to make lamb kabobs. Yum.

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