Rosemary is sometimes forgotten about in favor of trendier, less common plants, but the humble rosemary is the star of gardener Sarah Raven's latest gardening podcast.
See: Small garden ideas – maximize a compact gardening space
In conversation with Arthur Parkinson on her new podcast 'Grow, cook, eat, arrange' Sarah praises the plant. Not only is the scented herb a favorite in her own garden, but she reveals if she were to choose three plants to grow in a small garden they would all be rosemary.
‘If I had a tiny city garden with a sunny wall and I only room for a bench and three plants it would be a slatted bench and three different rosemary planted around it, and that will keep you going and replenish the soul 12 months round,' she confesses.
Flowering in winter the herb is perfect for winter color and year-round fragrance. If you are tempted to add rosemary to your garden the famed plantswoman went on to share her tip on growing rosemary in your own garden.
1. Rosemary thrives on sun – and a bit of neglect
Remembering that rosemary hails from the Mediterranean should give you all the information you need to care for this plant Sarah explains in the episode. Rosemary thrives on sunlight, neglect, and good drainage making it one of the best drought-resistant plants for your garden.
'Rosemary really does love the sun,' explains Sarah. 'Its favorite spot of all is at the top of a terrace. Like in the Mediterranean where you see it with wines and olives on it. And right on the edge of the terrace where there is almost no nutrition at all, you will have a thriving great bush of flowering rosemary.'
'That’s where it loves it, with its roots baked and pretty dry, and it doesn’t need nutrition it just needs that good drainage.'
- See: Sarah Raven's favorite dahlias – and her tips for looking after them
2. Avoid pruning woody rosemary
The only area to be very careful in when growing rosemary is pruning. Arthur and Sarah agree that you must never try to prune an old rosemary bush that has gone woody.
'You’re much better to propagate a new one,' says Sarah. 'I would tend to do any pruning twice a year, so you can keep it quite compact and I would do that after flowering. So in May and then maybe again in August – September time if you want to tidy it up again.'
3. Take cuttings after June
If you do want to propagate a rosemary plant Sarah suggests taking these cuttings between June and October. She explains that she tends to avoid taking cuttings in March and April when it is growing really rapidly because it can be a bit sappy.
To propagate a rosemary plant take a juicy stem. Strip the side stems, and remove the leaves from the side of the stem that will be below the soil level. Put six or seven cuttings around the edge of a pot and place on a sunny window ledge, in gritty compost mix. The cuttings will root in a couple of months and then will be ready for planting out.
Sarah Raven's favourite rosemary varieties
Sarah also revealed that her favorite types of rosemary are 'Rosemary Tuscan Blue', with dark blue foliage. 'Prostratus' is another firm favorite for planting up in window boxes because it cascades down.
However, her current obsession is 'Foxtail' which Sarah overlooks in the herb garden from her office window. This variety looks just like a fox tail, it is very upright and busy, with a silvery underside, and catches the light in a beautiful way during the winter.
When you are done admiring this gorgeous plant, don't forget to take it into the kitchen to spice up dinners.
This classic London mews house has an unexpectedly modern interior
Behind the classic façade of this Victorian house lies a contemporary style, thanks to the imaginative approach of designers Kitesgrove.
By Vivienne Ayers •
Dining table decor ideas – 10 tips for beautiful tablescapes to wow your guests
Dining table decor ideas are the centerpiece of every meal in your home, so ensure they live up to the occasion
By Ailis Brennan •
These 4 gardens were awarded gold at Chelsea Flower Show – and they have one feature in common
Chelsea Flower Show has announced its gold winners – and the Best in Show Garden. But what does it take to win gold at the celebrated festival?
By Megan Slack •
The top 2 trends to emerge from Chelsea Flower Show 2021
The famous horticultural festival is a melting pot of future trends – here are the top two you need to know about
By Megan Slack •
5 ways to design a calm garden retreat, using neutral colors and low-maintenance planting
Restrained materials and a muted color palette are the secrets to this calm garden retreat in the Hollywood Hills
By Rhoda Parry •
How to prune wisteria – and the best time to do it
Learn how to prune wisteria for a healthier plant with maximum blooms
By Melanie Griffiths •
Small front porch ideas – 10 ways to add interest to the entrance of your home
What a small porch lacks in size it can more than make up for in charm and atmosphere. Here's how to maximize space and create a front porch area to covet
By Jennifer Ebert •
5 ways garden designer Tom Stuart Smith transformed this Georgian cottage garden
Multiple RHS Gold Medal-winning landscape designer worked closely with the owner of this Georgian farmhouse garden
By Teresa Conway •
How to prune clematis – everything you need to know for beautiful blooms
Discover how to prune clematis to ensure a beautiful flush of blooms every year
By Holly Reaney •
What to do with gladioli after flowering, according to Monty Don
Advice from the garden expert will breathe new life into these colorful blooms – but preparation is key
By Megan Slack •