Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rosemary as an Evergreen Landscape Planting

You probably know rosemary as a fantastic herb for your garden. It's great for seasoning chicken, fish, and (my personal favorite) used in an olive oil dip for bread; but what about in the garden as a landscape planting? I have two rosemary plants framing the front steps to our house. They help to define the entrance into the yard from the front steps.

Rosemary at the front steps


The color lasts year round and it thrives in our Middle Tennessee zone 6b-7 area. One one side of the stairs the rosemary's green color contrasts with the light gray-green color of our Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) and the silvery foliage of a 'Silver Mound' (Artemisia schmidtiana). You can see in the top left picture the edge of the silver mound nudging against the rosemary.

Rosemary


On the right side of the steps the rosemary is backed against a darker shade of green with our asters that should soon be blooming with purple flowers. The rosemary has never complained about not having enough water and in fact seems to thrive in drought-like conditions. If you decide to use it as a landscape planting don't be afraid to use it in your cooking as well, it likes frequent trimmings. The more you clip it the thicker your plant becomes. These rosemary plants are in their second year in the ground and have grown into solid plants that I should be able to use for cooking all winter. If you want a more formal look rosemary can be trained into a topiary or be pruned into various shapes. I prefer the natural look.

You can propagate rosemary cuttings fairly easily since it roots in a cup of water or through layering. Its strong scent can also be a deterrent for deer and rabbits. To date I've never seen a deer on my front steps, but you never know! Rabbits are another matter...

10 comments :

  1. Love the idea of using Rosemary as an accent plant in the border or as a hedge. Great post Dave. I love the texture of the foliage.

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  2. I love the smell of Rosemary. Once you get it started it's a pretty plant for several uses. I like the color for contrast. Looks good by your front steps, Dave.

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  3. The rosemary looks very nice next to your steps.

    It was a pleasure meeting you and your lovely family tonight. The girls were positive dolls and Jenny-hello! You were a charm!

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  4. Your rosemary looks so good by the front steps. And close by when you need a sprig or two.

    I have to pot mine up to bring in for the winter, but it usually makes it through. I can remember seeing huge shrubs of rosemary in the coastal areas of North Carolina.

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  5. I have 3 rosemary plants and one of them by the kitchen door. I use it a lot for cooking.
    I have been reading your blog for a while but never made the time to write you. I am Brazilian but living in Knoxville and I find here lots of good information about gardening in TN.

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  6. They sell Rosemary in small trees here in the garden centers around Christmas time! They smell so wonderful. How great to have a fresh herb year round…

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  7. They are beautiful as a hedge. Pretty, and I love the smell.

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  8. Dave do try roast lamb with rosemary. I cut tiny slits in the skin and slide the leaves inside. Absolutely beautiful. Love the idea about using the plant for it's shape and form. Silly me thought it's only purpose was smell and flavour.

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  9. I have several rosemary plants...all purchased from Big Box stores! One is about 3 foot tall... I do take him inside when the temps go below 25! Do you think we'll have winter with snow ever again?

    gail

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  10. PG,

    They do make an attractive hedge planting. They can be a little temperamental in some climates but here in TN they seem to do fine.

    Lola,

    It does have great scent! It's nice when you accidentally brush up against it when you are walking through the garden.

    Tina,

    Thanks! I had a good time meeting everyone also!

    Cindy,

    Our climate is probably very similar to the Carolinas. They may have harsher weather by the coast.

    Gisele,

    Thanks for commenting and reading! The rosemary is great to have by the kitchen door. It must have been quite a climate change for you coming to TN from Brazil! I bet there are some very beautiful plants there. What was the hardest part of your transition to TN?

    Skeeter,

    I've seen the mini Christmas trees here also.

    DP,

    The smell is great!

    Margaret,

    Roast lamb! Now you're making me hungry!

    Gail,

    I hope we see snow again. We enjoyed the little bit we had last winter. Now that I have more of our slope cleared we have a longer runway for sledding!

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Dave

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