While most of the common herbs are grown for use in the kitchen, others have medicinal properties. And many herbs which are aromatic and highly fragrant are grown just for pleasure to enjoy their scents. This article by Steve Andrews which I found on HubPages describes six aromatic herbs that you can grow.
Herbs are grown for their use in cooking and in healing, some are grown for their fragrance, and some fit into all these categories. One thing is for certain and that is that aromatic herbs are one of the big attractions of a herb garden.
Many gardeners enjoy the wonderful perfumes of herbs such as Lavender (Lavendula spp.)or the citrus-scent of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis). I must admit I love to grab some herbal foliage, crush it lightly in my hands, and inhale! What joy!
Anyone planning a herb garden should think about what plants they are going to include and amongst the characteristics that lend appeal are definitely the wonderful aromas that herbs give off. Dried aromatic herbs smell fantastic while they are drying and many are ideal for adding to pot-pourris.
Lemon BalmLemon Balm is one of my favourite herbs of all. Just crush a few leaves and you will see why. It has a most heavenly perfume very reminiscent of lemons that is is named after.
Lemon Balm is another perennial herb that will grow back each year after dying back for the winter months. It forms clumps of foliage that carry its amazing lemon aroma, although its flowers are very insignificant.
Lemon Balm is used medicinally as an infusion of the leaves. It is a remedy for nervous tension, insomnia, headache and indigestion. The dried scented leaves can be sown into linen bags and placed under the pillow at night to help encourage a restful slumber. Lemon Balm, as an infusion, can also be added to bathwater.
Young leaves of Lemon Balm can add a citrus-like zest to salads or can be eaten in sandwiches. Bruised leaves add their flavour and aroma to dry white wine.
Although Lemon Balm is not a very ornamental plant and its flowers are hardly noticeable it nevertheless is a very useful addition to the herb garden. It is easy to grow and its aroma is heavenly!
Fennel is a tall perennial herb which is great for the back of a flower border, or maybe in a clump in the middle of a circular design. It has feathery foliage that smells strongly of Aniseseed when brushed or lightly crushed. The whole plant will release this inviting aroma if bruised slightly.
Fennel has clusters of yellowish flowers in umbels at the top of its stalks and these are followed by spicy seeds that are good in curries and other dishes, as well as for making Fennel herbal tea.
Fennel is good eaten raw in salads or added to cooked dishes and made into a sauce. It is a really useful herb to grow.
Its feathery foliage makes a wonderful contrast to other broad-leafed herbs that are much shorter in height.
As a medicinal herb it is good for the digestion and said to be an aid to slimming.
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Ruth Ann Stites