Rosemary From Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. I love to use it in a garlic rub on roast pork or chicken, on oven-roasted potatoes, or have it baked in a bread. I also love to touch a fresh sprig of rosemary and smell its scent on my hands afterward, and I love the sight of thick, lush rosemary in flower. I’ve tried to grow a few plants of my own so I can enjoy all of these luxuries and avoid the expense of buying fresh herbs, which are pricey! I’ve had to move the plants around, though, because they haven’t always been happy in their chosen spot. In fact, I’ve lost a couple small ones that I had planted on the side of the house where the soil is hard and the sun is brutal, and they just dried up.

When we put our raised garden bed in last year, I put all of my herbs in one corner of the garden. At that time I transplanted some of the small, unhappy rosemary plants that were in our flower garden to the vegetable garden. For the most part they have gotten comfortable and seem pretty happy there.

A healthy rosemary plant surrounded by its friends,
onion chives, horseradish, and mint.

Rosemary getting established in the raised garden bed. It’s a little sparse on the bottom but is actually reaching over the wood beam. Perhaps some more active pruning would encourage more growth near the bottom.

I want to try to propagate new plants and had read in the Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook that you can grow new rosemary plants by “layering” some of the branches of an existing plant to sprout new roots. Layering will occur naturally, if the plant has room, but you can help the process along by covering the bottom part of a low-lying branch with soil. I did this a couple of months ago with the branch in the bottom right of the photo above. Apparently once it roots you can separate it from the original plant and, viola! Two plants!

Another simple option is to take a decent-sized sprig of rosemary and place it in a jar with water and set it on a window sill. That’s what I did with a few pieces of the fresh-cut rosemary that a friend gave me a few months ago. (I didn’t realize I could do this until I saw a piece of rosemary rooting in a glass of water at a friend’s house and then I read about it again at The Soil Toil blog.) One of the sprigs didn’t root, but the other one went crazy! Here’s a photo of the mass of roots that this one little rosemary twig sprouted.

Over the last year we’ve added topsoil and compost to our house-side flower garden in an attempt to improve the heavy clay soil there. As a result, the plants there are doing much better than they did a year or two ago. So, I decided to try the rosemary there once again, since I’m gradually converting this garden to an herb garden. Hopefully this little guy will get a chance to grow before the catmint plants on either side close in. If they start to choke it out, I’ll move the rosemary again. I plan to eventually pot one so I can keep it in the house for quick access while cooking, so I’ll either take a layered piece from the sprawling garden plant or bring this one back inside. For now, though, it seems to be enjoying its new home.

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10 responses to “Rosemary From Rosemary

  1. happyhooligans

    Hi Jessica! I’m trying to get to the root of why my blog is slow to load for some people, and I think it may be due to photo size and my sidebar photos. I’ve had a couple of people say that my photos are “huge”, and that that’s probably one of the problems. Yours are nice and big though (just the way I like ’em), so I’m wondering: What do you do to your photos before uploading them to your blog? Do you re-size? Change dimensions? Pixels? I’m not terribly techy so I’m not sure where to start with all of it.
    I’d love to get some feedback from you if you have a minute. 🙂
    Thanks so much!
    Jackie
    (happy hooligans)

    • Hi Jackie! Guess what I’m going? I’ve just set up an ocean sensory bin for my kids and am waiting for them to come check it out. I’ll post pics later. 🙂

      As far as my pictures, I do resize them. I read a WP post/tutorial in the beginning (when setting up my blog) that addressed image size. (I think it was on the dashboard somewhere). Anyway, I export my photos from my image program as JPG, with the long edge at 1024 pixels and the photo resolution at either 72 or 150 ppi. (No rhyme or reason between the resolution settings, I’ve just done both. The 72ppi works fine and would make a smaller file.) If you don’t resize already, that will probably help. I’m guessing the resolution is the first thing you should change. I just pulled up the metadata on one of my rosemary photos and it looks like its 1024×683 pixels, at 72ppi and it’s 583kb in size.

      I hope that helps! I get confused about image files sizes, dimension and resolution, too. But this seems to be working for me. 🙂

      • happyhooligans

        Ok! I totally appreciate all your details and advice. It all seems like a foreign language to me, but I’ll read through it again at nap time or tonight when my family is in bed. 🙂 I’m determined to figure it all out.
        Where do you do your re-sizing? What I mean is what editing software do you use to do it? I was talking to Arlee at Small Potatoes and she resizes so that her pics are less than 100kb in size. Think of the blog space/memory that would save!
        It’s nice that you’re in wordpress.com too. I take comfort in knowing that we’re both working with the same host for these kinds of questions.
        Thanks so much. I’ll let you know how I do.
        Have fun with your Ocean Bin!! So happy you’re trying it out. Hope the kids love it!

        • Yeah, I’m sure I could get it down to a smaller file size but still have it look good, but I’m like you and like the large photos and the process of resizing isn’t second nature to met yet. So I haven’t quite figured out the optimal setting. I use Lightroom to resize most of the time but I also Photoshop Elements and in the past I’ve even used Window’s Paint program to resize. But Paint is pretty basic and takes some guesswork to get the right file size.

        • I just did some digging around on the dashboard and found this, which I think is the post I saw a while back. It might help you. http://en.support.wordpress.com/media/image-optimization/

    • I think the key with resizing is to change both the resolution and the pixel dimensions so that the program resamples the image. If you only change one, then it’ll just display it differently (smaller or larger on the screen), but the file size will remain the same.

      • happyhooligans

        Hi Jessica! WP just helped me resize all my side bar pics so I think that’s going to make a big difference. THey’re now just more than 1% of the original size! Yay!! Thanks so much for all your help. I’m going to take a look at the link you sent me (thank you so much), tonight, after the fam is in bed, and see if there’s anything else that I could be doing to minimize space and maximize speed. 🙂
        How did the Ocean Bin go over with the kids?

        • Great! I’m glad WP support is helping you get your site fixed up. That should help. I hadn’t had any major issues with your site loading, except for maybe a split second delay here or there with a pic. Nothing major. Oh, and the kids LOVED the ocean bin! They played with it for quite a while and I’m sure they’ll dip back into it over the next day or two. I took some pics and plan to post a blog about it, so I’ll link back to your post as my inspiration. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Hey Jessica L! I seriously just read a post from notdabblinginnormal.wordpress.com that talks about a rosemary and sage rinse you could use for your hair. I haven’t tried it, but maybe you will 🙂 http://notdabblinginnormal.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/no-poo-no-sticky-diy-hair-rinse-recipe/

    • Where’s the like button on comments? I did read something yesterday about someone using rosemary, but they didn’t say how. This is great! I’ll totally try it. I even have several sage plants growing in the same herb garden, so I’m all set! Thanks, Jennifer!

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