Friday, 14 August 2009

Thursdays favourite plant

Scented geraniums

I currently have 2 of these fragrant delights but after browsing about on the interweb I've decided I want to start a collection (even though I have no room).
I have Attar of Roses and Prince of Orange which smell funnily enough like rose's and oranges.
There are so many different types ranging from mint to apricot. I've been told the Attar of roses has the best rose scent to it, I love picking of a leaf and giving it a scrunch. I use the leaves for drying and cooking, you can add the a couple of leaves when making rice pudding, ice cream, chessecake, pannacotta by infusing them in the milk/cream before mixing everything together. This is important: only use a scant few leaves as they can be quite overpowering.
I recently made some strawberry jam and added some leaves (rose) to the simmering juice and berries, taking them out before boiling. The jam has a very delicate hint of rose about it yum.

Scented geraniums are tender short lived perennials. They need protection over winter, I bring mine inside and put them on the window ledges. If I had a conservatory or greenhouse ohh I could fill it with them. They also are great plants to take cuttings from either mid spring or late summer. I nearly killed my Attar of roses earlier this year by putting it outside on a nice sunny day in march but forgetting to bring it back in that night . It got frosted and went black and looked awful, two days before I'd cut it back (to encourage healthy new growth) and luckily I'd stuck some of the stems I'd cut in a jar of water. So I potted these up and now have two lovely bushy plants and a smaller tied looking mother plant (never quite recovered.

Next spring when I go to Hill house nursery next spring I stock up on a few more (ssssh don't tell the husband).

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