I love rosemary. I am drawn to displays of this fragrant herb at garden centers, where I pause to inhale the fresh, pungent scent. However, I have discovered that rosemary is not the easiest plant to grow.
My younger daughter Adriel gifted me with a beautiful rosemary plant almost six years ago, at Christmas time. The herb had been trimmed to resemble a Christmas tree. It thrived for a while, and then began to die back. I managed to start new growth from that plant, by rooting a sprig in water.
After I moved back into the house, post tornado, that healthy young plant was transplanted into a pot that then graced my baker’s rack on the front deck. The rosemary flourished there in warmer months and wintered indoors, becoming a large, lush plant.
As I created my backyard garden, I included an apothecary section, full of herbs. This part of the garden is next to the brickio and I love sitting there, surrounded by the alluring scents of growing herbs. My rosemary plant was lovingly tucked into the ground, to grow and scent the air and flavor my food and teas.
Except it hasn’t turned out quite that way. The rosemary plant thrived its first summer. However, when this perennial returned the next spring, it struggled to survive. The plant appeared puny and straggly. I had to purposefully search for the rosemary to find it among healthy herbs such as chives, lavendar and lemon balm.
It was a fighter though, clinging to life, managing to survive its second summer. I didn’t expect to see the rosemary plant return this past spring. And yet, amazingly, the little plant that would not give up pushed through the ground. It lived! I was delighted. Although still small compared to its previous size, the rosemary is healthy, vibrantly green and oh so fragrant.
Tonight, for the first time, I had rosemary tea. I felt like the plant is strong enough that I could gather a few sprigs without jeopardizing its well being. Rosemary tea helps support the digestive system, improves cognitive function and is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body from heart disease and cancer. And it smells wonderful as it is steeping.
After steeping in very hot water for 15 minutes, I sipped on my first cup of rosemary tea. It tastes as rich as it smells. The hot liquid soothed me after a busy day at the end of a busy week. It is the perfect accompaniment to creative coloring in my Doctor Who coloring book.
I am grateful that this little shrubby herb has survived. I could have ripped it out of the ground and purchased a new plant. But this particular rosemary has a history with me. It has a story, a tale of new beginnings, nurturing and survival. Rosemary is staying with me.