Lemon balm in the forest 

lemon balm with strawberries, which are being used as ground cover in the forest garden

Last year, I found a self-seeded lemon balm in the garden. I had actually dug it up, thinking I had a weed. Then I noticed the leaves and the lemony aroma. Hmm, not your usual kind of weed then.

The aforementioned lemon balm went in a pot so that I could keep it until I could decide where to plant it. Considering it is in the mint family, maybe a pot would be a good place for it to stay – except that this morning, I found a rather lush little lemon balm plant in the forest garden. So, too late to keep in contained.

However, I am more than happy with the new arrangement. It’s great to have such a gift from nature springing out my soil. And in a highly appropriate place. Perhaps a little close to the apple tree but nature’s going to do what it wants at the end of the day.

The tea I made from a few leaves also tasted good. Definitely a ‘weed’ I’d recommend!


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, In the kitchen, Permaculture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Lemon balm in the forest 

  1. Kalamain says:

    Lemon balm is wonderful in scented garden… But like all of the mint family, keep it in a pot!
    Having said that we had a clump at the council that never got bigger than a 3ft square patch. No idea why.

    • Helen says:

      Three feet squared is still big!

      I really don’t want to keep anything in pots, however, as it means extra watering. I’m also interested in my forest garden experiment. I learn by doing – and in any case, there is so much controversy over permaculture being ‘woolly’ (which I would agree with), I think we need more evidence of what works and what doesn’t.

      • Kalamain says:

        You could put it in a pot and sink that?
        And I thought that most of the permaculture basic principles were taken as true?

        • Helen says:

          Permaculture is a new philosophy and one of the criticisms against it is that it is unscientific, lacks an evidence base. Unfortunately, there are those in the movement who resist such research. An interesting situation…..

  2. Awesome post thank you for sharing have a blessed time Helen

  3. It is lovely – but if it flowers you will have baby plants coming up everywhere – not just the roots that have to be contained. But there are much worse weeds out there

  4. I have mine in a pot but I harvest it all the time. I dry the leaves and use it in tea all year around. I have ran out of my dried mint and lemon balm. That is a first for me.they are both coming up for the new season so I can just use fresh cut. My plants never have a chance to bloom because I harvest them regularly. That might also account that they haven\t spread into my yard. I never thought about it before. I do think it is pretty ground cover though.

  5. Lemon balm sure is in the mint family and a prolific grower too! Doesn’t mind taking over garden beds 🙂

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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