Saturday, June 21, 2014


I've been working on the order for my awesome client JR (see this post) and decided to see what other sayings or poems I could find about rosemary. What a fun adventure!

Rosemary is an herb native to the Mediterranean with small needle like leaves. It has a rich history. According to an article written by Master Gardener Madeline Wajda, the first known reference to rosemary is on a cuneiform stone tablet from the fifth millennium B.C.

When researching the history of rosemary one will find that is rich with ties to ancient goddesses such as Venus, Greek physicians, religious lore and medieval witchcraft. One old myth suggests that the best rosemary cannot be purchased or cultivated from seed, but must be stolen from a witch's garden.

~Rosemary along with basil & sage in my herb garden~

When I went out to take this picture I counted the rosemary shrubs on my property and surprised myself, I have 17~

There is an old saying I kept running across "Where rosemary flourishes the lady rules" another take was "where rosemarie flourishes the missus is the master" evidently this saying originated in Medieval England, author unknown.

Wedding and funeral references abound as it is well known rosemary is for remembrance.

“ Young men and maids do ready stand,
With sweet rosemary in their hand,
A perfect token of your virgin's life;
To wait upon you they intend,
Unto the church to make an end,
And God make thee a joyfull wedded wife. ”

Shakespeare wrote quite a bit about rosemary. His Ophelia says in Hamlet, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember!” 
He also mentions how the English once placed rosemary in coffins and around graves in Romeo and Juliet when Father Lawrence says,
“Dry up your tears, and stick your Rosemary

On this fair corse.”
For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
Seeming and savour all the winter long:
Grace and remembrance be to you both!
(The Winters Tale)

One of my all time favorite gardeners in history is Gertrude Jekyll. Below a quote from her about rosemary:

‘I plant rosemary all over the garden, so pleasant is it to know that at every few steps one may draw the kindly branchlets through one’s hand, and have the enjoyment of their incomparable incense; and I grow it against walls, so that the sun may draw out its inexhaustible sweetness to greet me as I pass ….’

As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul. - Anonymous

I'm off to steal some rosemary from a witches garden...

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