Rosemary is incredibly tough and long-lived.
Rosemary is incredibly tough and long-lived.

Rosemary for remembrance

Rosemary is a much under-rated garden plant. It's incredibly tough and long-lived, tolerant of hot and dry conditions, as well as being very attractive and, indeed, useful.

Rosemary is native to the shores of the Mediterranean. It was growing profusely on the peninsula at Gallipoli when the Anzac troops landed there in April 1915. Rosemary has been a symbol of fidelity and remembrance since ancient Greek and Roman times, so it is only natural that it has become an important part of Anzac commemorations. You will notice rosemary sprigs being worn by participants, and rosemary plants growing in the gardens at war memorials.

This is a shrub that will last for years, providing beautiful fragrant foliage that can be used in many ways in the home.

While most varieties have blue flowers, there are also pink and white flowering forms; bees seem to love these flowers regardless of the colour. The leaves are quite small and needle-like, and very rich in fragrant oils.

There are varieties like 'Tuscan Blue' that will grow up to 1.5m tall, with strong, straight stems which provides a strong, structural element in a garden bed. There are shorter shrubby types, useful for hedging, and there are other lower-growing forms including sprawling types useful as a groundcover or for spilling over pots or garden walls and pathways.

Rosemary grows well in a sunny, well-drained position in a pot or in the ground. It's pretty tolerant of just about anything you can throw at it, including mild frost. It doesn't need much attention, but you can prune it to shape if you want.