Arbor Gate's Picks of the Month
Rosemaries are divided into upright or prostrate varieties. Both are R. officinalis, with many cultivars. The uprights are preferred for culinary uses on account of their superior flavors, and they form shrub-like plants of 3 to 4 feet ordinarily — sometimes reaching 5 or 6 feet. When placing an upright rosemary in the garden, be sure to allow plenty of space.
Arp Rosemary is a favorite, having excellent flavor and cold-hardiness. It was discovered by Madalene Hill many years ago in an Arp, Texas, garden, and named for that small East Texas town. This wonderful rosemary is a must-have for cooks.
Relatively easy to grow, rosemary matures slowly. It needs well-prepared soil with excellent drainage. Full sun is ideal, but rosemaries will tolerate a considerable amount of high shade. Water it lightly but often, as it has many very tiny shallow hair-like roots. Mulching is essential.
Harvest the tenderest new-growth ends of the branches for culinary uses — they are most flavorful and easiest to cut with scissors or knife into suitable tiny bits for cooking. Consider the stronger, woodier stems for use as skewers.
Arp grows into a well-shaped mid-sized shrub, and begins to produce light blue flowers in abundance during the cool months of the year. A lovely addition to the landscape, as well as to the herb garden.