Friday, March 19, 2010


'Huntington Carpet'.

'Huntington Carpet' takes a right angled turn.

'Huntington Carpet' flowers.

'Pink Majorca' flowers.

Without really trying, I seem to have accumulated a small collection of Rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalis). A few years ago I was inspired by the Rosemary I saw growing as a landscape plant in the gardens in San Francisco; there is much use there of prostrate forms that hug the ground and drape over walls and balconies.
Here in Toronto, of course, Rosemary is not winter hardy, but loves our hot summers and long days from Spring to Fall and so they had to be in containers. I purchased two prostrate forms R officinalis 'Santa Barbara' and 'Huntington Carpet' and planted them in tall rose pots giving them a good 14" to cascade down. This has worked out very nicely and in addition to cascading, they also have the habit of growing horizontally when they hit the ground making a sharp 90 degree angle.
Last year when revisiting Richters Herbs I couldn't resist picking up R. officinalis "Pink Majorca' and on this years visit i bought 'Foxtail' which will eventually form dramatic plume-like branches and the diminutive 'Blue Boy' which I plan to train into some sort of Bonsai or topiary form.
All these plants seem to enjoy wintering in my cold greenhouse and flower profusely starting in February and can stay outside from early Spring to Late Fall.


The Gaudy Garden said...

Beautiful. We grow rosemary in the ground here.It is one of those plants that requires no attention and thrives. The smell is divine.

kilbournegrove said...

Barry, they are beautiful. I have never tried overwintering a rosemary, how difficult is it without a greenhouse?
I am hoping the snowdrops won't be finished before I visit next week, what fabulous weather we are having.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Jim,
I'm envious. When I was in the UK two weeks ago ( or a fortnight as they say) I was reminded that Rosemary, Bay Laurel etc all grow into enormous bushes there. Anyway, here they are well worth the effort to get them through the winter indoors.

Hi Deborah,
If you have a cool room with lots of light, it's not too difficult to winter over Rosemary ( good ventilation also helps). If you go to this trouble it would be worthwhile getting an interesting variety from Richters ( they have 15 different forms).
Did you notice the picture on my side-bar of Galanthus ' Viridapice' ?

Sheila said...

One of my favorite plants! We grow it quite easily here and it is a staple in most gardens!

kilbournegrove said...

As a matter of fact, I did. Where did you get it? Do you think they will still be in flower on Wednesday?

Bernie said...

How beautiful ... they both have lovely flowers. This is not a common plant in my part of the world.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Sheila,
Again, I am so envious of those with the climate to grow this outdoors.

Hey Deborah,
'Viridipice' is now available in its dormant state in the Fall, still fairly expensive.
Anna Pavord is grudgingly approving of it in her new book "Bulb' she refers to it this way " Though not elegant, 'Viridipice' is vigorous and clumps up quickly".
It has only just opened and should be in good shape on Wednesday.

Hi Bernie,
They are beautiful and very fragrant. Well you make up for not being able to grow this with so many other wonderful plants.

tamis said...

Beautiful, i have never seen one in bloom before.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Tamis,
Thanks for the comment. Rosemary seems to like the cool conditions in my greenhouse and blooms regularly every year.