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Hardiness Zone Map


Rosmarinus

Rosemary

Studious Greeks twined Rosemary in their hair “for remembrance” before exams; the French burned it as an incense substitute in cathedrals. And of course, there’s the taste—pungent and aromatic, a pinch delivers a punch of flavor. The rugged evergreens of this genus afford short needle-like foliage studded with tiny, orchid-shaped mostly blue blooms. Rosemary obliges heat and poor soil, triumphs over deer and diseases, only improves with age and doesn’t demand much, except for sharp draining soil.

That’s Arp, Texas, where one ol’ specimen is still growing strong at 80. An upright shrub with gray-green foliage and light blue flowers, ‘Arp’ is most at home inland, where it opens outward in the heat; on the coast its habit is more compact, but still handsome.

Blooms March–July.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Touting a heady fragrance plus increased cold hardiness, ‘Blue Spire’s handsome foundation hosts tightknit upright branches garbed with dense needle-like dark green foliage beneath long-lasting, splendid bright blue blooms that keep the bees and butterflies happy. This versatile, undemanding shrub can be utilized as a tidy evergreen screen, sculpted into a topiary or brought into the kitchen for your next batch of roasted potatoes and shortbread cookies.

Blooms January–April

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Zone 7b.

Upright, with a tidy tight-knit character that showcases broad attractive foliage and vividly dark violet-blue flowers, ‘Herb Cottage’ originated at the Cathedral Herb Garden in Washington, D.C. This bushy culinary delight is favored for its good looks and deserves a spot in your herb garden or a container alongside a well-traveled path.

 

Blooms January–April

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Rosmarinus officinalis</i> ‘Irene’

Discovered as a volunteer seedling in northern California, ‘Irene’s low mounding habit is much improved over older prostrate Rosemarys. Dense, gray-green, narrow leaves make a vigorous show on long, pendant branches, and the richly colored blue-violet flowers are larger and more profuse than those displayed by other trailing cultivars. Let it cascade down a wall or over the lip of an easily viewed terracotta vessel. Rosemary Irene (PP#9124)

Blooms January–April

Size: 12" – 2' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Scented, slim deep green leaves and close-set, erect branches host a lucent showing of exquisite 2-lipped pure white blooms. Harder to find than the typical blue-flowering cultivars, ‘Lady in White’ presents a compact low growing habit that wields both beauty and brawn. Petite pearlescent blooms mesmerize the pollinators in the rockery or in a water-wise planting, while the winning foliage lends savory notes to focaccia and tomato dishes.

Blooms January–April

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Zone 7b/8.

Dubbed for the renowned herbal enthusiast from Texas, ‘Madeline Hill’ is not only a good-looking tough cookie hardy to below 0°, but she’s a savory delight as well. Intensely fragrant, needle-style rich green leaves, which are broader than ‘Arp’s, cloak her robust, upright pale green stems. Forging a not-too-tall bushy guise, this well-branched Rosemary is generously sprinkled with engaging light blue flowers. Never fussy, she takes heat and poor soil, resists pests and deer and only improves with age. Good drainage is preferred.

Blooms January–April

Size: 3' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

A welcome departure from the typical blue blossoms associated with the genus, this attractive upright Mediterranean denizen debuts lovely pastel lavender pink flowers amongst minute short needled gray-green leaves. Wafting crisp slightly fruity aromas, the trim loosely arranged foliage garnishes stiff steadfast branches and makes a stellar evergreen hedge for the herb garden or a water-thrifty planting, consorting with like-minded low maintenance companions such as Correa alba ‘Bronze Select’, Cistus ‘Natacha’ and Eriogonum ‘Little Rascal’.

Blooms January–May

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

We found ‘Maltese White’ at Bob Brown’s Cotswold Nursery in England, and presume this little known bushy Rosemary was discovered and named by some plantsperson traveling around the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. Small, bright clusters of snowy white blooms decorate its silvery stems and resinous green-gray needles. A restful medley of color, these soothing hues will convey a courtly air to your Mediterranean border.

Blooms January–April.

Size: 3' 0" – 3-1/2' high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

A gift from our friend Jim Lockman, ‘Santa Barbara Blue’ seems to be known only in small gardening circles in California. Densely clustered needles lend a finely textured look to this upright evergreen with elegantly sweeping lower branches. The azure-blue flowers beautifully complement the concurrent blooms of Cistus ‘Red Eye’ and the deep green foliage contrasts strikingly with gray-leafed Teucrium fruticans (Select Form).

Blooms January–May.

Size: 5' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Celebrated as an excellent choice for topiary, this tall standing Britishman has stiffly upright branches. Aromatic, narrow green leaves make a savory seasoning, while bright bluish purple flowers bring a little bit of the heavens down to earth.

Clipped into fanciful shapes, hedged or left au naturale, ‘Sawyer’s Blue’ melds with other water wise plants such as Teucriums, Carex glauca and Lavandula ‘Lullingstone Castle’.

Blooms January – April.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Zone 7/8.

<i>Rosmarinus officinalis</i> ‘Taylor’s Blue’

If you are short on space, consider this compact well-groomed Rosemary introduced by the late Ken Taylor. A no-fuss ‘Collingwood Ingram’ sport, the close-set, shiny deep green leaves on trailing and upward arching stems are loaded with bright lavender-blue blooms. ‘Taylor’s Blue’ can be tucked into a dry area where its dark, fine textured needles offset Cistus ‘Tania Compton’s rippled gray-green foliage.

Blooms January – April.

Size: 2' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Zone 7/8.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our feature plant: Primula vulgaris ssp. sibthorpii

Precious Primulas, Prized Pulmonarias and Fabulous Foliage!

Primulas offer elaborately-crafted colorful blooms in varied shapes,……

including draped bells, candelabras, drumsticks and pincushions. Many Primrose flowers  waft a delectable scent. Second-to-none for the dappled recesses of your garden, these easily grown, cold-hardy Primulas crave well-drained, humus-rich niches with adequate moisture and good air circulation. They can grace containers or be planted in swaths along shady walkways or in woodland gardens. Be sure to peruse our online Primulas.

Prized Pulmonarias……

One of the earliest perennials to bloom, you can be picking their enchanting urn-shaped flowers in February while the rest of the garden still slumbers. Many cultivars showcase an array of mercury-hued dapples, speckles and spots, while others sport solid pewter sheens or striking silver streaks. Easy-to-grow Pulmonarias prefer the lacy light of a woodland setting plus cool moist soil. Our newsletter also includes a handful of other shade-loving perennials that promise alluring foliage. Many of these perennials can be partnered with Pulmonarias for intriguing foliar contrast. You may wish to check out our online Pulmonaria offerings.

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