Thursday, December 25, 2008

Festive Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officianalis) was a popular Christmas decoration in the 19th century. St. Thomas More said of it: "tis the herb sacred to remembrance and therefore to friendship.' The choirboys of Ripon carried it on Christmas morning as a sign of redemption. A number of legends link rosemary with Christmas: it is said that the herb's purple hue derives from the robes of the Virgin Mary; that it's aroma comes from the swaddling clothes of Christ; that the plant will never grown taller than Christ; and if a rosemary bush lives longer than Christ's 33 years, it will branch outwards not upwards. Because of these associations with Mary, it is said that rosemary grows best 'where the mistress is master.'

-From Schott's Almanac 2008 Page-A-Day calendar.


Dancer in DC said...

Sometimes I wonder if rosemary stands for remembrance because it provides such a powerful scent memory. One that's hard to forget and always causes me to feel happy when I smell it.

Stef said...

Looks like I'll have another chance at homegrown rosemary, and other herbs, this year. My parents knew that my little herb garden last year didn't work out, but they're willing to give me another chance at it and gave me the Chia Herb Garden for Christmas. So the balcony garden experiment will continue into 2009!

(Yes, I will be emailing you for advice! My farm years were long ago...)