Yesterday was a full day of work in the garden, feeding and pruning the kids. But, it’s all worth the hard work as June is one of the loveliest months in the garden.
The roses are gloriously perfuming the oasis. The hydrangeas are in early stages of color while courting the bumble bees. The marigolds echo the scent of the earth while murmuring the colors of the sun. The day lilies are bursting with gold while flirting with the wind. The regular lilies are starting to grow under the fallen blanket of white dogwood petals which retired in spring. And the herb garden is erupting with aromas of basil, sweet mint and French lavender. The butterflies are ecstatic and so is this humble gardener. There is something especially satisfying in seeing your hard work literally “bloom” into beauty.
“We bury our seeds and wait,
Winter blocks the road,
Flowers are taken prisoner underground,
But then green justice tenders a spear.”
Ahhh Rosemary… One of my favorite herbs. “Rosemary” is derived from Latin words “ros” and “marinus”, which mean “dew of the sea” or “mist of the sea”. It refers to the coastal region that is occupied by this plant in it’s wild form. As the days get shorter and the warm temperatures dwindle in early fall, the Rosemary in the garden is still going strong and one of the last herbs to continue giving to my garden. My inner poet can’t help but consider it the most royal of the garden, growing and giving until the very end. Perhaps this is why Rosemary is a symbol of loyalty and love. In certain parts of the world, bride, groom and their guests wear branches of rosemary during wedding ceremonies. During the English Tudor era, Rosemary symbolized fidelity, and brides would give sprigs of Rosemary to bridegroom as a tradition.
The history of Rosemary is fascinating and for centuries it was used to enhance memory. Recent studies suggest rosemary may sharpen memory and brain function and suggest it’s use for Alzheimer’s patients. Shakespeare may have agreed. In “Hamlet,” Ophelia waxes poetic about rosemary as she descends into madness. “There’s Rosemary, that’s for Remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” It’s also believed ancient Greeks wore rosemary in their hair to fortify their memory. The association between rosemary and memory has persisted throughout history. Personally, I love the the poetic history of the mist of the sea. Sir Thomas More wrote: “I lett it runne all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it, but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and therefore to friendship.”
For the last harvest of our historical herb, I wanted to celebrate this beautiful woodsy herb with the bittersweet nutty flavor and create a menu that highlights it’s fabulous fragrance!
Rosemary skewered chicken
Green Garden Herb basmati rice with mint, chive + Rosemary
Orange blossom Rosemary Gin Cocktail
Chopped kale salad with tomato, avocado, onion and lemon
Rosemary infused olive oil