The Joys of a Rosemary Bush
Even though my hopes of growing parsley and basil on the roof were dashed this summer, I never quite gave up on the idea of having my own herbs at home. Last month, I decided to take a chance on rosemary, which I read was the easiest of the herbs to grow in an apartment. To be honest, I didn’t really grow it. I bought it — a full-sized rosemary bush for $15.
It was a good choice, not only because it was the least fickle of the herbs for an herb novice like me. Though I didn’t think of it at the time, rosemary linked me to my Portuguese roots. The herb is native to Portugal and grows effortlessly it seems everywhere. Rosemary – “alecrim” in Portuguese – is even mentioned in a famous Portuguese fado song celebrating the joys of a simple home.
I found a nice spot for the plant by the window and brushed my hands over its surprisingly soft needle-like leaves. The stems sprung back into place, releasing a strong pine fragrance. My rosemary bush is funny. She doesn’t reveal her strength until you stroke her. She’s reserved and understated, just like the Portuguese now that I think of it.
The plant has become like a pet. I water her as soon as the soil becomes bone-dry, irrigating until the water collects in the plate underneath her. It’s amazing how she sucks up the water, like a kitten lapping up a bowl of milk.
“We’re getting along quite well. I feed her and open and raise the window blinds to make sure she gets maximum sunlight. In return, she gives me an invigorating, wake-me-up, pick-me-up scent whenever I need a lift, not to mention seasoning for my food and a great addition for my baths. I’ll never let her know that she wasn’t my herb of choice. But I guess I won’t have to. Parsley and basil seem so yesterday now.