By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
The myth of rosemary is one of those very unique ones.
This story twists and winds around what it means to be human.
The story begins in an Italian village where a queen could not get pregnant.
She carried her despair to the garden where she cried over a very prolific rosemary plant. Later on, the queen learned she was expecting and soon gave birth to a beautiful rosemary plant.
Being a dutiful mother, she watered and feed (fertilized) her baby (rosemary plant). Then one day, she went to the garden to find her baby gone.
The King of Spain, who was her nephew, had played a joke on her and removed her baby from the royal gardens. To add to the joke, he watered the queen’s baby goat’s milk.
Then one day while the king was strolling in his garden playing his flute, a beautiful young girl erupted from the rosemary plant. It was love at first sight but to his dismay after meeting the girl of his dreams he was sent to war.
Prior to going, he instructed the royal gardener to spend all his time taking care of the rosemary plant and ruled that no music would be played in the garden. But, one day, the gardener forgot. He began to walk around the garden playing his flute. To his surprise, the young girl sprang from the rosemary again. Once the gardener saw this young beauty, he fell in love with her. But, as luck would have it, the king’s sisters were taking a stroll down the garden lane when the girl appeared. Out of jealous, the sisters beat and shamed the girl. In doing so, she disappeared back into the plant.
The plant began to droop and wither away. Since the gardener was supposed to take care of the plant, he took refuge in the forest. While in the forest, the gardener met a dragon who shared a secret. This dragon said that the plant could be saved with his blood but to harvest the blood the dragon had to be killed.
The gardener took his simple sword, killed the dragon and collected his blood. He carried the blood back to the garden and “watered” the rosemary with this elixir. To his surprise, the plant’s health improved and the girl reappeared.
When the king returned from battle, he praised the gardener for his care and married the girl who became known as Rosa Marina.
So until we blog again, you never really know what one will find in their garden space.