Brushing up against the bright green leaves of the Lemon Verbena releases a subtle, lemon scent as I walk by. Picking a few of those leaves and gently crushing them in my hands releases, much more emphatically, its lemony perfume.
The lemon scented leaves of the Lemon Verbena.
My Lemon Verbena is a fairly recent addition to our garden. I have planted it in a sunny, well-drained but protected space and it's thriving there. It did get straggly at one stage, after flowering, but a light prune has resulted in a burst of new and thicker growth. More lemony leaves!
These leaves have many uses. You can steep them to make a revitalising herbal tea, like the one resulting from this recipe where its flavour is combined with mint. You can make a lemon-scented sugar or infuse syrups or vinegar with the lemon of the leaves too. With my abundant supply though, I am most looking forward to making Martha Stewart's Lemon Verbena Lemonade.
I can envisage pouring myself a glass of this icy, refreshing lemonade. I imagine that I'll cradle my glass sitting on the deck, gumboots still on, overlooking the garden where my Lemon Verbena grows. I think I'll have to do this at least once before this Summer ends, starting this weekend.