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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Lemon geranium 

Every day when I walk up the stairs to our front porch I get a whiff of lemon. It's one of the cleanest, most refreshing smells and all I ever get is just a hint of it. Not an overpowering smell like someone who puts on too much perfume but just enough to make a person turn their head and wonder where the scent is coming from. It's the lemon geranium!

The first time I ever learned of this plant was when my husband and I went to Charlottesville, VA and visited Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. There were plants on the property available for sale that supposedly he had grown and among those were scented geraniums. We purchased the rose and lemon geraniums.

We had not seen them in Florida until recently when Lowe's was offering "mosquito plants". Same thing. The plant is a lemon balm geranium actually known as a pelargonium and I'm guessing the citrus smell supposedly keeps the skeeters at bay. We brought two home and they have grown into a mass about 4 feet wide by about 2 feet in height. I'm planning to make some cuttings and spread them around the entire yard, it's just that refreshing to smell!

I learned that there is a lemon geranium and a lemon balm geranium - the difference is primarily in the size of the leaves - but any way you cut it, no pun intended, it's a great plant to have in the garden. Happy Gardening and be sure to give it a try.

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