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Turn up the Grill with BBQ Rosemary!

It's official, grilling season has begun. Get prepared for your outdoor cooking and entertaining by adding Barbeque Rosemary to your landscape. This plant boasts long, upright stems which are perfect for skewering and roasting vegetables and meats, and it's foliage is especially good flavor for grilling. It will quickly form an upright hedge of aromatic needles with profuse, blue-purple flowers. Barbeque Rosemary can grow to be four to six feet tall. Best of all it is heat tolerant, drought tolerant and deer resistant.

Rosemary is a fabulous herb for arid gardens. It is a beautiful foundation shrub that will provide year round coverage. This plant will thrive in full sun, but should have good drainage. Add it to a Mediterranean garden as a hedge or simply use in a pot as for the kitchen or on the grill.

We love making skewers for kabobs with these rosemary sticks. Cut off the branches that you need and strip off the leaves to use as a skewer for meats, veggies, and even fruits such as strawberries or pineapple. The savory essence of rosemary comes through beautifully without overpowering the food. After one try you won’t want to go back to ordinary skewers again!

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Plant of the Week: Rosemary Topiaries & Cones

Add festive cheer and fragrance to your Christmas this year with rosemary topiaries and cones. Rosemary, perennial herb with fragrant, needle-like leaves in silvery gray green, is a holiday must-have.

These hardy evergreens are easy to grow, beautiful to look at and just so happens to be super useful too. Among rosemary's many uses, it's prized in the culinary world for its flavorful leaves. It is also beloved for its lovely fragrance and pretty, petite blue flowers that appear each spring. But did you know that rosemary is right up there with mistletoe and frankincense when it comes to holiday decorating? Rosemary makes an ideal holiday accent throughout your home. For entertaining, arrange trees around the buffet or as table centerpieces. With their festive wraps, these tabletop trees add splashes of color and shimmering accents throughout the season. In entryways, their fresh, crisp fragrance welcomes guests and beckons them inside. And add a little nature to holiday packages by tucking in a few springs into ribbon. Rosemary cones and topiaries are also a perfect choice for outdoor use in containers by the front door. So be creative and add this festive evergreen to your holiday décor this season. Oh, and did we mention – rosemary cones and topiaries make a great gift!

Rosemary Care Tips: During the winter months, rosemary likes a nice sunny spot. Place in a bright window, and turn the plant so that it gets sun on both sides. The soil in the pot needs to be well drained. Water it from the top every other day. Water may remain in the saucer to provide humidity for the plant. Adjust the watering schedule if necessary to be sure the soil never dries out.

Check out more of our favorite plants! OUR PLANTS OF THE WEEK >>

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Mosquito-Repelling Herbs

Many things come to mind when we think of growing and using herbs. For example, the delightful fragrance of an aromatic bath with lavender, a scrumptious dish with basil, and the piney scent of rosemary when you're barbecuing. These easy-to-grow plants provide fragrance, flavors to our favorite dishes, look great in our yards, attract pollinators -- the list goes on and on. Turns out these beloved plants can also keep the bugs at bay. Yep, there's a handful of herbs with strong scents that we find pleasant but not the mosquitos and other insects. Try pairing these herbs together in a container near a door or where you gather outdoors. When you're outdoors, to get the maximum effect, simply crush some of the herbs in your hands to release their perfume into the air. It also will help to rub the oils on your skin. Plant these naturally insect-repelling herbs so you can enjoy your outdoors without all the buzz!

Lavender. This gorgeous purple flowering plant provides a soothing, calming scent to humans, but mosquitoes and many other insects don’t like the smell and will stay away.
Basil. Basil is one of the few herbs that give off a scent without the leaves having to be crushed. For a quick, natural repellant take a few leaves and rub them on your skin.
Rosemary. Planning on gathering fireside? Try burning a little rosemary. The fragrant smoke it puts off will smell good to you, but the bugs won't think so.
Catnip. Studies suggest that catnip may be even more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the ingredient used in most commercial bug repellents, which is highly toxic.
Lemon Balm. It contains high levels of a compound called citronellal, which gives it its lemony aroma and flavor that bugs find so unpleasant.
Peppermint. Biting bugs don’t like the scent of peppermint, so you can crush up the leaves and rub it on your skin. This herb provides double-duty too as it acts as itch relief if you do get bitten.
TIP: We also recommend surrounding your patio or deck with containers of lemony-scented geraniums, called Citronella Geraniums. These perennials are often called the "mosquito plant" due to it's strong citronella-like smell.

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