It used to be said that it takes a forceful wife to make rosemary flourish - so you'd think it would be flourishing all over my garden - but it's not - I have no success with it at all. But Elizabethan men were so concerned about it they used to slice off the heads of rosemary bushes with their walking sticks to cut their women down to size.
It's well known as the perfect accompaniment to lamb, but is also said to improve the memory and ward off witches. In the latest of our series on herbs Miranda Seymour, author of A Brief History of Thyme and Other Herbs, told Claudia Hammond about the historical uses of rosemary. Miranda Seymour, A Brief History of Thyme and Other Herbs, Paperback 140 pages, 10 Oct 2002 Published by John Murray; ISBN: 0719563275