With the cooling fall weather, herb gardeners are busy harvesting and prepping the garden for winter. This includes some trimming of the shrubs that may have exceeded their alloted space. If one of those shrubs is rosemary, don’t toss the clipped branches. Instead bring them indoors and make a rosemary garland to decorate the family room or fireplace. Rosemary has a lovely pine scent and can serve the same purpose as clipped pine boughs – just with shorter leaves/needles. Here’s what you’ll need:
- An old sheet to cover the work area.
- A dozen or more rosemary branches at least 18 inches long and as straight as you can find them.
- A sharp pair of garden clippers and your garden gloves.
- Green florist’s wire, green tie-wraps, or green pipe cleaners.
First spread out the old sheet on a large surface. Then cut your branches and give them a good shake (to evict garden hitchhikers) before bringing them inside. Gather your equipment and put on your gloves. They will not only protect your skin from scratches but they will prevent the sap on fresh rosemary leaves from making your finger dark and sticky.
Start with two of the longest and straightest branches. Lay them on the work surface in a line, with the leaves pointing in the same direction and the branches overlapping about one third of the length. Use the wire wraps to secure the branches together in two places to help them stay in line. Repeat this process until you have a line of branches 6′ – 8′ long. Garlands longer than that are difficult to handle. If you need some to hang over a long distance it’s better to create two or three garlands and then connect them in place.
For suggestions on using rosemary garlands, look for tomorrow’s blog post.