Category: Herbs

Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena with its sugary lemon scent is an herb you’ll want to have in your garden for the fragrance and flavor. And plant it somewhere close! It’s one of those plants that release scent every time you touch the leaves.

Lemon verbena is a shrubby herb with loose, twisting branches and bright green foliage. It can grow to 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide where it is perennial (zones 8 – 11). In my zone 7 garden it stays a little more contained because I grow it in a pot that I move indoors for winter. It’s a fast grower that needs full sun and excellent drainage – too much water will rot the roots! Lemon verbena has a sweet lemon flavor – I tend to use it with desserts and as a seasoning for meat dishes, but I also love placing it near my outdoor living areas so I can enjoy its lemony scent. In fact, it was its lemony scent that led me to make this lemon verbena infused honey, and I can’t wait for you to try it.

What you’ll need

  • A few stems of lemon verbena, cleaned and dried
  • 1 mason jar
  • Honey

All it takes is a little herb-tidying. Pluck the lemon verbena leaves off of their stems, rinse them, and dry them with a paper towel. Loosely fill a mason jar with the leaves and then pour the honey over the top. While you may want to try it right away, put the jar in a cupboard for a few weeks to infuse. After two weeks strain the honey to remove the leaves.

You’ll end up with a lovely lemon-flavored honey that you can stir into tea, drizzle over nuts or cheese, or use as a sweetener.

Do you want to know more about this great herb? Jump over to the Bonnie Plants website to read about growing lemon verbena.

Three Ways to Use Lavender

lavender

If you are looking for plants for your garden with a heav­enly scent, lavender has to be right up there at the top of the list.

From a garden design point of view, lavender’s silver-gray fol­iage is an excellent neutral. Use it as a backdrop for brighter plants and as a bridge between contrasting colors.

To successfully grow lavender, select a spot with well-drained soil and a full day’s sun. Water consistently and apply an all-purpose, liquid fertilizer in spring as new growth emerges. To keep plants full, lightly prune after the flowers fade in summer.

Lavender is a multipurpose plant that is useful in herbal remedies, aromatherapy, cooking and perfumes. Here are three easy ways to put lavender to work around your house.

Lavender Syrup

Slowly boil one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add ¼ cup dried lavender flowers and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool. Lavender simple syrup will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.

Lavender Swizzle Sticks

Freshen up your drink with a little lavender. Snip a stem that is an inch or so longer than the depth of the glass. Strip the leaves from the bottom, leaving the ones at the top. The pungent flavor is particularly good for a gin and tonic or martini.

Lavender Tea

A cup of lavender tea is good for anxiety, upset stomach or sleeplessness. Mix one tablespoon of dried lavender flowers with boiling water in a teapot and steep for 10 minutes. Save leftover tea to use as a hair rinse.