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Fragrant herbs, grown in the home or garden, will excite the senses of everyone who passes near them. As live plants they enhance the aroma of any room or space. Aromatic herbs can be dried to make potpourri, added to the bath as a relaxant, used in sachets and some may even be eaten as culinary treats.
Lemon balm is a highly fragrant perennial that grows best in a semi-shaded area in sandy soil. The seeds of lemon balm are slow to germinate and it may be wise to start this herb with young plants. Bergamot is a Native American species that spreads rapidly if not restricted. It produces fragrant, showy flowers and is best started from young plants. Iris Florentina or what is commonly called white flag, produces beautiful white flowers in early spring. The root of this herb, which multiplies rapidly, is called orris root and is used as an alternative medicine. This herb should be planted horizontally with the top side slightly above the soil.
Lavender seeds are slow to germinate and it is suggested that you start this herb by propagation from layers or cuttings of adult plants. Lavender needs a sandy, alkaline soil and should be fertilized occasionally with lime. English lavender will need to be mulched to protect it from the cold, while other varieties should be wintered indoors. Rose, in the old varieties of damask, dog, cabbage and apothecaries are blessed with the most fragrant flowers. It is best to buy young plants and establish a root free bed for these plants. Rose likes a slightly clay soil that has been enriched with compost or manure. Geranium is a lemon, rose or peppermint scented plant that needs a dry, sandy soil. These highly fragrant plants are best started from young plants since the seeds often fail to grow true to type. Much like lavender, geranium should be brought indoors for the winter.