Monday, April 19, 2010

Herbs for the Senses

 Lemon Balm

As I've grown into a gardener in the last couple of years here after buying a house with a yard and room to do so - I've started noticing things that I really like to grow. I mean at first you go all hog-wild at Lowe's putting every pretty plant in your cart and digging willy nilly to put it in your yard. But after awhile - and by while I mean like 2 years into it and so many plants that when you buy something new you have to walk about the yard for about 20 minutes trying to find a spot to put it - that or dig a whole new flower bed - you start to realize the plants that really make you happy. Not that any can make you sad - just some are more fun than others! :)

I've found that I really like things that smell good - and not just flowers - but leaves that emit aromas when you brush up against them. There's something about being able to pull weeds around a plant and when you brush up against the air is filled with a luscious herby smell. Puts a little more pleasure into ripping up those dandelions if you get to practically sit amid a spa-like infusion of scents like  lavender or mint!

I catch myself now cupping bee balm leaves as I walk by just to catch a whiff of their delightful scent. (yup, not only am I the crazy lady out with her camera snapping pictures of her daffodils, I'm also out there touching and smelling the leaves all the time...yup)

Here's my list of must-have perennial (comes back year after year) plants the play on the senses!
  • Bee balm (can't describe the smell - but I LOVE it!!) - and they have gorgeous big flowers that the bees and humming birds love!
  • Lemon balm (smells like lemon) - my husband loves to weed-eat near them just to catch a whiff :)
  • Mint - grows like crazy but smells amazing and can be used for so many things
  • Lavender - needs no explanation here
  • Hyssop (smells like black licorice oddly enough) and bees love, love, love their flowers
  • Chamomile
  • Lilac
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Marjoram
These plants are so fun to have around - I love having family or friends over and crushing the leaves for them to see what I mean - or to catch their surprise at the licorice smelling hyssop.

Here's a few more I want to add to my list:
  • Lemon verbena
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Sage

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