In 1915 a wounded digger brought back with him a small rosemary bush from ANZAC Cove. The bush was planted in the Army Hospital grounds at Keswick. Sprigs of this rosemary bush were worn to remember and honour the fallen on ANZAC day from that point forward.
The heritage of the rosemary bush itself was only discovered in the 1980’s after a landscaper went to remove the bush from the gardens, only to be told its amazing history from the hospital gardener. In an attempt to preserve the plants history, the landscaper David Lawry, took the rosemary bush back to his native nursery and started propagation. The ‘Gallipoli Rosemary’ sold throughout nurseries today are plants from the original bush brought home 100 years ago.
Rosemary is a hardy wonderfully aromatic herb shrub, and its plant care is relatively easy in Australia. You can plant it into your herb garden or use as a culinary hedging plant. Rosemary plants can be propagated from cuttings, so you can plant your sprig after ANZAC Day.
When growing rosemary plants, provide them with well-drained, sandy soil and at least six to eight hours of sunlight. These plants thrive in warm, humid environments and cannot take extremely cold temperatures.
In containers rosemary prefers to remain somewhat on the dry side; therefore, terra cotta pots are a good choice when selecting suitable containers. These pots allow the plant to dry out faster. Thoroughly water rosemary plants when the soil is dry to the touch but allow the plants to dry out between watering intervals.
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Pruning rosemary will help make a bushier plant. Snip sprigs using the general rule of not taking more than one-third of the plant at any time and make cuts just above a leaf joint.
Rosemary can then be dried like any other herb by hanging tied bundles upside down in a cool, dry place. Fresh rosemary will last for approximately 3 weeks if you wrap it in a slightly damp paper towel and then place the bundle in a sealable plastic bag or container.
As a medicinal herb, it has long been recommended for strengthening the brain and memory. The herb contains substances that are useful for improving digestion, increasing circulation and often reducing pain.
In cooking, rosemary is used as a seasoning in a variety of dishes, such as soups, casseroles, salads, and stews. Use rosemary with chicken and other poultry, game, lamb, pork, steaks, and fish, especially oily fish. It also goes well with grains, mushrooms, onions, peas, potatoes, and spinach.
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