If you step outside our scullery door and survey the little eco garden we have growing around our clothesline, the first plants you’d notice are two enormous rosemary bushes. They display an almost architectural beauty, with generous armfuls of straight stems reaching skywards, each one’s length circled by hundreds of slender, uniform leaves. Its colors are calming, like its fragrance: blossoms in lilac, white, pale blue, scattered among the silver and dark, subdued green of leaves.
Often when I’m cooking, late in the afternoon, I send the children outside for some rosemary. It’s heavenly in soups, and I’ve found that it makes an especially dreamy pairing with butternut. As the butternut roasts in the oven, the kitchen and surrounding rooms fill with the aroma: comforting, rich, and sweet.
it aids digestion,
sharpens the mind,
calms and uplifts the heart,
can help to balance hormones,
dries up a cough,
heals the skin, and
encourages hair growth.
Growing rosemary from cuttings is marvelously quick and easy. If you’re looking for nature play ideas for your kids, get them involved, because it’s a project they’ll find deeply satisfying. Once the bushes have developed roots, plant them out in your children’s natural play spaces, so that nurturing them can become part of their outdoor play.
To grow rosemary from cuttings, you will need:
Some two- to three-inch-long cuttings from a mature rosemary plant. Harvest cuttings with clean, sharp shears from new or soft stems.
Garden pots. We prefer biodegradable plant pots. If you have them around the house use terracotta, ceramics or clay pots (because they’re reusable and help keep trash out of landfills),
Well-draining potting medium.
Clear plastic bags.
Here’s how you do it:
Start by stripping the leaves off the lower two-thirds of the cuttings.
Fill pots with potting medium.
Poke holes into the potting medium with a finger: a single hole for a small pot, or up to four for a large pot.
Carefully place cuttings in the holes and press the medium around the stems.
Water, then place the pots in the plastic bags to help keep the plants damp.
Position the pots in indirect sunlight. Water them again whenever the potting medium feels dry.
You have the green light once you see new growth! Remove the plastic, and transplant to your garden beds or to large plant pots – one plant per pot.
Written by Rifke Hill
About the Author
Rifke Hill was raised on the sort of farm your grandparents told tales about – milking cows, gathering eggs, hoeing the soil, and building fires to heat water. She now spends part of her time copywriting online as a freelancer. The rest of it is spent nurturing and teaching her four energetic children, growing vegetables, baking bread, reading voraciously, having coffee with the neighbors, and enjoying the sunny slopes of the smallholding where she lives, in the Garden Route, South Africa.