I am sure very few people need an introduction to Rosemary. Possibly one of the most popular herbs in the world, Rosemary is a tough perennial that has an intensely lovely flavour. It is mostly used in meat dishes and other savoury dishes like cheese sauces and stuffing; however, it is also used in all sorts of products from iced tea to chocolate. Rosemary can be dried quite well, but if you have a strong plant, I cannot see why anyone would want to use dried herbs. My favourite way of using rosemary (the Tuscan Blue variety) is by stripping the bottom leaves from the stem and using the rosemary sprig as a skewer for making a kebab. This imparts the intense flavour into the meat, a fresh sprig can also be added to stews, soups, roasts and â€˜potjieâ€™. You can also add a few sprigs into the fire while having a braai, this will not only impart the flavour into the dish but also help keep mosquitoes at bay.
On top of being one of the royal cuisine herbs, rosemary is also a valuable medicinal herb with strong anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a tonic and energizer. Rosemary tea has been used for centuries to treat headaches and to help aid in recovery after long illness. In our modern-day fast pace lives, rosemary is especially valuable as a anti stress remedy. It helps to soothe and calm the nerves after a long day. The standard way of taking rosemary is by making a tea from the leaves. One sprig of rosemary in a cup of boiling water, let it stand for 5 minutes, strain and drink. Sweeten with some honey or fruit juice and lemon. Take this tea daily for no more than 2 weeks at a time.
Creeping rosemary is a low growing variety with thick luscious stems that tend to grow sideward and spread around, they often root along the way and spreads over fairly large areas. It makes an excellent water wise ground cover.
All rosemary plants need full sun and moderate watering, the soils should be well draining and added compost will always help. They will cope in pots, but this is not advised. The size of the plant will depend on the variety. All rosemaries can be used as described above.