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Rosemary Disease

March 29, 2015

Last year a splendid Rosemarinus officinalis measuring 130 cm  tall and almost as wide and growing on the side of the allotment shed, suddenly presented with a large dead limb. I assumed it had been accidentally torn off the main stem although I couldn’t see a tear so I simply blamed the badger. This week I arrived to paint the shed and found that the entire rosemary bush had died. It most likely suffered from a bacterial blight Pseudomonas syringae which thrives in damp conditions especially when there’s insufficient air circulating round the plant which I now realise was the situation for my shrub.




We are clearing more shared areas on the allotment to take part in Grow Wild and will be sowing wild flower seeds over the next few weeks to attract more bees and pollinators to the site. This is the pathway to the compost loo visible up the steps at the end. The bed on the left was planted with herbaceous cuttings from various of our gardens a couple of years ago and is thriving. The bed by the wall is now to be cleared ready for sowing seeds. Here’s the before picture so watch this space…



Last week I mentioned the lovely Skimmia fragrans and in a garden centre yesterday there were several large specimens on sale and all were smothered in honey bees. It was a very heartening sight and you can just see two in the image below…

DSCN4235 Friends of the Earth have produced a fact sheet Twenty Things You Need To Know for helping the bee population available to down load here

I came home and cut a flower to enjoy the scent indoors…DSCN4233


8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2015 11:49 am

    I love the starry flowers of the skimmia and they are fragrant as well, what more can you ask for in a plant?

  2. March 29, 2015 11:58 am

    Hi Chloris

    Yes me too and the fragrance from one stem brought indoors was intense. I might try to propagate from my plants so that next year I can cut lots for indoors. You have a large and interesting project on in your garden -hard work but very exciting.

  3. March 29, 2015 2:59 pm

    I was never sure whether I liked skimmias – a bit like Choisya, it seems every garden has one and, for me, it was a case of overexposure. I’m going to have to change my mind now if they’re so attractive to bees! I’ve also recently lost a mature rosemary plant as it was covered in rosemary beetle for the second year running and all the new shoots were being well and truly munched. Not pleasant for culinary use, so I’ve dug it up and been advised to just grow rosemary on my balcony as the beetles will come back again. Now giving some thought as to what to plant in the hole ….

  4. March 29, 2015 6:13 pm

    i was exactly the same about skimmias but rounded mine up to meet the challenge of scent in the garden every month of the year. I am not disappointed especially seeing the honey bees swarming over the flowers and because the scent is really delicious.

  5. April 1, 2015 3:12 pm

    Sorry to hear about your rosemary. Sometimes it feels as if everything is out to get our plants. 😉 My winter honeysuckle has been covered in bees too.It’s still covered in flowers so perfect for bees emerging early in the year. I love the idea of the wildflowers on your allotment. I wish I could persuade my fellow allotment holders to do something similar. Hope you have a lovely Easter.

  6. April 1, 2015 4:50 pm

    Yes the Kew wildflower project is a lovely nationwide event and more ground has been cleared on the allotment so we’ll sow seeds next week. Photos will follow.

    Happy Easter to you too.

  7. April 10, 2015 7:19 am

    Rosemary are prone to die back and if it was in a damp situation it was probably struggling, they really want completely dry soil and full sun, even here in Italy. We have rosemary beetle which also attacks my lavender but I usually just pick them off and squish them at this time of year and up until now they haven’t been a problem.

  8. April 10, 2015 7:49 am

    Yes I think I was shocked by the suddenness of it presenting as a huge and dead shrub. Rosemary beetle has been a problem in the garden here in the past but thus far no sign of it.

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