The rise of rosemary

PUBLISHED: 09:57 29 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:57 29 March 2016

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosmarinus officinalis

Keith Clouting

Plant specialist Keith Clouting of Taverham Nursery Centre tells us whats smelling sweet this month

When walking through the garden at this time of year, a plant which for me always conjures up thoughts of warm sunny days ahead is rosemary. I never walk past without giving it a squeeze and smelling its familiar invigorating scent. A favourite variety I grow is R. officinalis Miss Jessopp’s Upright which, as its name suggests, has good vertical growth and does not sprawl around, which also makes it suitable for a hedge in coastal and sheltered locations. In spring and early summer it bears light blue flowers over a long period. A good lower-growing variety is Blue Lagoon, growing to a height of around 45cm and spread of 90cm with flowers of a beautiful deep blue. There are many other good varieties worth trying, including the white flowered R. officinalis Alba and R. Prostratus which makes a good specimen for a container or trailing over a sunny wall.

All rosemarys prefer a sunny spot in well-drained, preferably poor soil (if your soil is on the heavy side, add plenty of grit before planting). Container plants also need a well-drained mix, and don’t overfeed as this will reduce flowering. Among good companion plants for rosemary are the later flowering caryopteris, salvias and Perovskia atriplicifolia.

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