Today I sowed the first seeds of my herb collection and chose to start with Lemon Balm, Melissa Officianalis, which I am growing in memory of my Dad, who grew it in his garden. It would have been his birthday on the 17th of this month. He died on Good Friday in 1991 so this time of year is particularly sad for me. It will make me smile to see the plant and rub the leaves as he did to get the scent of lemon.
Lemon Balm is the common name for Melissa officinalis, an aromatic, sweet herb of the Mint Family grown in the herb garden for seasoning, used in liqueurs and historically as a medicine. It grows to 2 feet tall and has small 2-lipped flowers in late summer and leaves with a lemon smell and flavour.