Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rosemary, O Rosemary...

The tale of our relationship with rosemary is a long and sad one.  It started fifteen years ago when we had a beautiful rosemary plant near the side door of our home in the city.  It was a lovely plant that overwintered well and eventually grew to be a two foot high shrubbery.  Yes.  A shrubbery.
We almost didn't move to our new house because we'd miss the rosemary so much, but more practical reasoning prevailed and we assured ourselves that we could always plant rosemary at our new home.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you?

For ten years we have failed to get a rosemary plant to overwinter outside.  This year we took one small plant inside in a pot and it survived, but barely.  Now that it is spring, we start the experiment again...
Here we see location #1, near the shed. This location faces west, gets afternoon sun and has the benefit of the shed wall to shelter it and a driveway in front of it to radiate heat from a day of sunning.  Of course, planting it right next to the dead remains of last year's experiment should be a clear sign that this location isn't all that great... We garden the hard way around here.
Location #2 faces east and gets morning sun.  The small patio light may or may not have an effect, but the patio stones should collect heat all day in the sun and hold some for the little plant to enjoy.  The bushes behind the rosemary may provide shelter from cold air and wind, but may also hinder growth by blocking some sunlight.  We'll see.  At least no rosemary has ever died here, so we have hope.  No rosemary has ever lived here, either, but people with hope ignore stuff like that.

Location #3 is the favorite to win, mostly because it will come inside this winter.  We planted a new rosemary in the lucky pot.  Our money is on this guy to live all winter.  Especially if we water him.  (We have found that potted plants need lots more attention in this area than the plants in the ground. . . Please don't ask how many potted plants had to die before we figured that out.)
Location #4 has two rosemary plants.  One of the plants is the guy who overwintered inside.  The other is a new guy.  You can see them in this picture in front of a large clump of sage. [From front to back, left to right: thyme, thyme, rosemary from the pot, rosemary, sage, parsley, parsley, wilting gerber daisy]
This location gets full sun until the afternoon, but has no shelter from wind or cold air, and no wall or patio to retain heat.  We don't have a lot of hope for these two plants, but we have failed for ten years, so what do we know??

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