I can’t imagine where the saying: “Where the rosemary flourishes, the woman rules” can have come from.
Maybe it’s a continuation of the thread that darker, more mysterious plants represent the female sex (ivy as opposed to the bright-berried holly, for example).
Rosemary is a splendid shrub – aromatic, evergreen, tough without having thorns, beautiful in blossom and brimming over with uses and properties.
It hangs over our rubbish bins and has to be pushed aside, so each time I deposit something there, I come away with fragrant hands.
And disinfected hands, because it’s supposed to be antibacterial.
More than half of our rosemary bushes are in flower now, in January, and the rest look healthy.
How much more proof is needed that I wear the trousers?
While the wheelie bins were being neither filled (since they were already full) nor emptied, this spider took advantage to build its web between the fronds of rosemary overhanging the lids.
Upside down in the very centre of its trap (threads just visible shining in the torchlight), it looks all set to receive whatever the night may send its way.
Intuitively, Chokri strimmed round this plant in the middle of the path knowing I would want to preserve it.
Its leaves are highly aromatic but not with the usual sharp, clean, rosemary-like scent of so many Mediterranean plants.
And the flowers smell pungent, peppery, strange.
I looked it up first in my flower book and then online.
Eureka! That’s what it smells like! Curry!
Which is why it’s called the curry plant.
It has nothing to do with making curry, but the oil from its blossoms does have plenty of medicinal uses.
It’s also claimed to be a cat deterrent!
This is the path that runs round the back of the flowerbed, next to the edge of the ‘moat’.
Every colour of the rainbow is present.
It’s a narrow path – only 60 centimetres (2 foot) wide – but the flowers have decided they’re going to make it even narrower.
In one place we’ve battened back a rosemary with a trellis of sticks so that you can actually get by.
Sometimes you have to break the amorous bond of 2 sweet pea tendrils joining from opposite sides.
But it’s not a path that takes you anywhere in particular – just one to enjoy!
This is my response to the challenge issued by Cecilia in her blog ‘thekitchensgarden’.
I took the photos today in not very photogenic weather. Here our al fresco dining area is shining wet from the latest shower and Mount Subasio, beloved of St Francis, is blotted out by mist.
The plant bulging over the tiled surface on the left is thyme, and behind it, in front of the yellow roses, is one of many clumps of love-in-a-mist.
Just to the right of the door, a very different scene with the rain now drying up.
Galileo is climbing on what we call our ‘cold frame’ – spare double-glazed windows propped on crates so as to provide shelter for seedlings. You can see he’s wearing a bell round his neck – the sort hunting dogs wear. It has a lovely Alpine tinkle which we hope will enable us to find out where he goes when he runs off frightened and doesn’t come back for hours. The other two dogs are keeping him company.
Behind the cold frame is what we call the ‘shelter’ – pallets held upright by stakes driven into the ground – designed to stop light seed trays etc from blowing away in the wind. It’s got pretty cluttered over time.
To the left of the cold frame is the barbecue which we never finished building but which we’ve used like it is, with the blocks laid dry. At the moment it’s full of rosemary prunings so that our next fire will smell nice.
Beyond the stub lamp is a glimpse of the nearest house in that direction. It’s the only one which could, conceivably, overlook us!
The weather has wings, in other words it’s windy, and the flowers are swaying and fluttering.
The butterflies are hiding somewhere, afraid to take to the air.
There are normally several swallowtail butterflies around, alighting on the rosemary or doing a mating ‘pas à deux’ over the pond.
But today the only butterflies to be found are the ones I’m wearing round my neck and in my hair.
Our 3 recycling bins aren’t exactly things of beauty.
They sit in front of a stone wall in a passage next to the house.
It could be quite gloomy there, but the rosemary which grows in the flowerbed at the top of the wall has decided to dangle its best flowers down towards the bins.
The 2 tufts on the left offer the highest flower-to-leaf ratio that I think I’ve ever seen in a rosemary.