The Arbor Gate’s monthly ‘Herb Picks’ for 2014 honor the memory of Madalene Hill and celebrate her pioneering work in bringing herbs to all the gardeners of the Gulf South (and beyond). Each month’s herb is closely associated with Madalene.
February 2014 marks the fifth anniversary of the dedication of the Madalene Hill Herb Garden at The Arbor Gate.
She was our teacher, mentor, and friend.
In l972, Madalene discovered this terrific rosemary in Arp, Texas, where it was growing in the garden of a friend. She was impressed by its hardiness in the northerly East Texas climate and took a few cuttings to propagate back in Houston. Within a few years, her success with this variety had spread around the region, and now Arp Rosemary is widely available in nurseries throughout the country.
Madalene was noted for the rosemary research she conducted as an ongoing project at Festival Hill. At one time, she’s thought to have had around 125 varieties growing in the ground or in large pots in the noted gardens. When asked which rosemary she preferred for flavor, she invariably answered “Arp!”
Rosemary Culture: A rewarding plant to grow, rosemary has few problems. It needs excellent drainage; though full sun is desirable, rosemary can tolerate a considerable amount of high shade. Since it has many tiny, shallow roots, rosemary is sensitive about water – neither too much nor too little, as starving for water causes it to wilt. Heavy mulching will help it survive cold spells and also the high heat of summer. Prune dead or damaged portions in early spring.