Rosemary in retrospect

We gather plants as we've gathered others in our lives, animate and inanimate - cats, second hand dishes, repurposed glass jars, clothes, kitchen rags. Sometimes we seek out our plants, and sometimes the plants end up on our doorstep, plants that have been forsaken or orphaned, or are awaiting a fate that does not have space for their care. This post is about the former; orphaned plants in our home can form a post all on its own!

After the lemongrass, the second plant to go into the ground, from being a migrant just as we were, in pots, migrating with us, pots and roots and all, is one of two Rosemary plants. Her origins: I snipped cuttings out of her mother plant, a healthy bush I saw in a hotel garden parking lot in Atlanta, GA, in the summer of 2007. I placed several of the cuttings in a paper cup filled with water, snapped on the plastic lid, stuck the lot of it in my handbag, and drove back with it and my other half, to New York City. And there, at home in our tiny little apartment, we did our best to root the cuttings. Several died, but one or two took.

[caption id="attachment_188" align="alignnone" width="500"]The tiny Rosemary, with a much larger Meenbo. The tiny Rosemary, with a much larger Meenbo.[/caption]

Something out of nothing - a brand new, independent plant from its mother. It wasn't at all easy, loving plants as much as we do (and did), trying to keep them alive through all seasons, in front of just four windows that received only so much sunlight throughout the year. But we tracked that sunlight for our plants' sakes, as surely as our beloved felines tracked it for their enjoyment.

We moved the plants and their roots in their pots around, following the path of the sun. And, despite the harsh winters and the dry interiors and the ever-present threat of spider mites, most of our plants held on, survived, and some even thrived. So, placing Rosemary into the ground a few days ago was a momentous occasion. In 2011, she looked like this:

[caption id="attachment_190" align="alignnone" width="500"]Rosemary, Summer of 2011, on the window sill with lemon pickle curing, in NYC. Rosemary, Summer of 2011, on the window sill with lemon pickle curing, in NYC.[/caption]

And, before she went into the earth here at the Coahuila garden in Houston, she looked very stately, indeed:

[caption id="attachment_191" align="alignnone" width="500"]Rosemary, 2013 November. Rosemary, 2013 November.[/caption]

Ah, a cat is never far away from our garden.

[caption id="attachment_196" align="alignnone" width="500"]Kiki and the Rosemary Kiki and the Rosemary[/caption]

From what we read, Rosemary likes a well-draining, sandy-ish soil, and flowers throughout the winter and into spring here. We'd like to place as many useful plants in the front garden as we can get away with, so the hope is that she shall be the first of many.

In the ground, she suddenly looked so small, and somewhat vulnerable:


But she's been doing well, despite the freezing temperatures we've had recently. Rosemary, the second of our migrating plants to find her permanent home.


See you in Arcadia!