Half a Hundred Herbs Week 38 Scented-leaf Geranium

3 pots of geraniumsThese are the scented leaf geraniums I bought last year. They have overwintered in the house on a north-facing windowsill, but now that the weather is warmer, they are in the greenhouse. By the end of the month it should be warm enough to put them outside on the patio, but as they are frost-tender, being from South Africa, I will have to wait for the threatened cold snap to be behind us before I take any risks. The lemon verbena which seems to be thriving in the open air will also have to come back in for a night or two!

The leaves of my geraniums are scented with apple, lemon and rose. You can also get some vairieties with scents of eucalyptus, peach, pineapple and balsam – there’s even one listed in Jekka McVicar’s book which smells of chocolate mint. She lists twenty-three varieties, but I have gone for the ones I think I will make most use of.

The leaves can be used to flavour such things as cakes, jellies and syrups -you don’t eat them, but remove them once the flavour is sufficiently strong. I will probably concentrate on steeping them in oil for scent, and for pot pourri.

Mny of my herbs are putting on some strong growth now, and, although the plants seem rather puny (especially the rosemary), yu can now make out the concept of the knot garden:

knot gardenI have sowed marigolds, cornflowers and poppy seeds in the spaces, so I hope it will be more colourful during the summer.

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