Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's official: Melissa officinalis sure gets around

As I mentioned before, the lemon balm, aka Melissa officinalis, LIKE THE MINT, is slowing making its way around the garden.  In the path... in the gutter areas... by the compost bin.. in random places in the yard.

In the yard it will just get mowed of course, cool, fine.

In random places in the garden beds, not so good.  Plus, I like to utilize this stuff or at least give the herb away so others can enjoy the agony of keeping it in order it's lemony presence.

As its Greek/Latin name says, Melissa means bee and you can surmise this is a great bee attractor with its tiny little flowers develop later.  This is a plus as I am trying to attract more pollinators, so the plan is rather than seek and eat/destroy this herb, I'll be moving it around to far corners of the yard to try to increase bee/pollinator production, yet keep it in places where I hopefully will not accidentally drag seed around when I cut the stalks.  It's always so hard for me to cut the stalks when there are flowers on it because the nectar starved bees go at them even when they're in seed it seems.  Another note: CARRY A PLASTIC BAG TO HOLD SEEDS IN WHEN I CUT THE SEED STALKS OFF.  This would probably prevent all the seeds from going everywhere in the first place.

Unorganized gardening (bending down for a weed here that catches my eye, pruning there) walking aimlessly around in the garden is fine, fun and relaxing, but you'd think I'd have learned my lesson with crazy plants like perilla/shiso/beefsteak plant and now lemon balm.  Brill.


Jennifer said...

I tolerate the wanderings of lemon balm too...just because I love the fragrance when I crush the leaves. I really should do something edible with it. Any ideas?

persephone said...

@jennifer: I tend make teas with it, great cold or you can dry it for a hot winter brew (of course you could have hot tea too this summer, but would you really want it? :) Uh, potpourii? I'm not usually into that but some people are. You can also use it as a revenge plant on those you "love" that'll keep 'em busy next year!