Sunday, May 14, 2006

prodigal lemon balm



Last year, if I remember right, I bought a little pot of lemon balm at the local greenhouse closeout sale, because, after all, what's a garden without lemon balm? I planted it in a flower bed on the southwest side of the cabin, one where I mostly stick in a few annuals to make the place look nice.

As luck would have it, the lemon balm survived the winter and now looks as if it is poised to take over the garden plot. And I'm asking myself, "just why did I need lemon balm in the first place?" Yes, it smells lemony, but it's the kind of lemon scent I associate with aerosol furniture polish.

So what exactly can I do with lemon balm?

7 comments:

H. Stallard said...

I did a Google search on it and found more uses for it than you can shake a stick at.

Anonymous said...

I know the smell you mean! Last year I planted Lemon Thyme and couldn't use it in food because it smelled like Pledge! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I like it fresh, crushed and put into my iced tea. It is also good with other herbs (rosemary, lavender etc) in hot tea. It is also a medicinal.

clairesgarden said...

last year I had it planted round the pole beans to try warding off 'things', I didn't realize it was hardy and would coame back, I think the only thing I did with it was to throw the odd leaf into tea.

Mary Ann said...

You might want to be a little careful with it. Mine spread so much it eventually found its way to the compost. For a couple years it turned up everywhere I used compost.

I have mixed feelings about the scent. It smells like it could be in insect repellant, but I haven't tried it.

Sandy said...

Have you tried lemon verbena? The lemony fragrance is so much nicer. I haven't been able to winter one over yet, here in Maine. Would love to know if anyone else has.

Deb said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm thinking I'll dry some leaves for tea, and hope the scent of the leaves maybe keeps a few mosquitoes away from the house. Of course, it would take a whole field of lemon balm to deter the Minnesota "state bird". ;)