These Scrumptious and flavoursome scones are delicious drizzled with honey and walnuts or simply a spreading of jam, The herbs rosemary and thyme create a piney and minty flavour along with the balsam and lemony taste of the Pelargonium citronellum leaves, a lovely addition to your coffee or tea break.

Ingredients

225g (8oz) self raising flour (or plain flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder)
5ml (1tsp) baking powder
50g margarine or butter cut into small pieces
1 egg
A little milk
A pinch of salt or 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (depending on taste)
2-3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
2-3 sprigs of thyme, leaves taken off stalk
1-2 leaves of pelargonium citronellum
A Peel of half a lemon finely chopped or grated
Topping honey and or walnuts or jam

To prepare
Sift the self raising flour with the added baking powder into a mixing bowl, add the margarine and  rub in lightly with your fingers & thumbs above the bowl until the texture is similar to that of  fine breadcrumbs.
If you have a sweet tooth add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar  or just a pinch of salt as the drizzle of honey will act as a natural sweetener. You can also add a little olive oil if you like.
Add the finely chopped rosemary leaves and thyme as well as the finally chopped lemon peel and pelargonium citronellum leaves. Mix together in the flour mixture then make a well in the centre and add a beaten egg, stir the contents together adding a little milk until you reach the right consistency to form a soft dough.
Knead lightly to take out any visible cracks, then a light dusting of  flour to your work area and rolling pin, roll out the dough with a thickness of approximately 2 cm’s.
When the dough is rolled out carefully cutout the pieces using a 2 cm cutter or cut into triangles, add them to the baking tray lined with a baking sheet and place them in the oven for 8-10  at a temperature of 230 c (450 F mark 8)
you can also replace the egg with soya or almond milk.
After baking, cut the scone in half and add a layer of honey and or walnuts, or jam served with a refreshment such as tea or coffee.

Destination- Giverny Claude Monet’s Garden

gautier-salles-YzyhU3D1YSU-unsplashPhoto by Gautier Salles-unsplash.com

The gardens of the renowned Impressionist Artist Claude Monet is situated at the village of Giverny, Northern France where Monet painted his famous works of the Japanese bridge & water lily pond.

The gardens are separated into two areas, the gardens in front of Claude Monet’s house & the pond garden with the Japanese style bridge across the other side of the road, they are known for their wide range of beautiful highly fragrant flowers which come to life in spring, in a range of colours and shapes that becomes more scented when they are lit up by the rays of the sun. Monet’s flower garden has the occasional splash of vivid colours like in an impressionist painting, Peonies were said to be one of Monet’s most admired plants and grew many rare peonies from Asia in the gardens, as well as tulips, dahlias, fox gloves, poppies, clematis, sage, chrysanthemums, Japanese anemones and love lies bleeding among others.
The strongly scented captivating fragrance of the hyacinths in various colour combinations are charming in Spring, especially as one walks past the flower beds full of these lovely plants. Many fragrant roses of all colours are also present in the gardens which trail up archways and trellis.

At the water garden the beautiful array of purple and white blooms of the wisteria reflects over the sepia water of the pond above the simplistic Japanese style bridge where colourful shrubs surround the pond. There is also a smaller bridge which is situated over a canal which at one time used to flow into the pond, it has wisteria growing above it and has similarities to the larger bridge. The pond contains water lilies koi carp and also smaller fish such as ruds, perch and pike as well as various wildlife. Lovely colourful shrubs, bulbous plants and annuals surround the areas of the pond such as tulips, iris, azaleas, tall fox gloves and peonies.

Near to the pond is a large beech tree which shades the ground on warm days and was planted by Monet.
Claude Monet decided to remain in the village of Giverney from the late 1800s when he caught sight of it out of the window while passing on a train. His house and gardens are now very popular with tourists and artists worldwide & when he claimed ownership of the house and gardens in 1890 he transformed it completely by planting 100,000 flower varieties in the front garden and across the road from his house a pond was added while gradually adding the Japanese style bridge, wisteria and other flowers and shrubs & of course the water lilies.

The land in front of the house was originally an orchard and was sloping, it has a multitude of different sized flowers, shrubs and trees to add volume and colour as well as iron archways for growing trailing roses. Claude Monet died n 1926 and after its decline after the second world war the house and garden was restored to its former glory, such as the amazing brightly coloured yellow dinning room with red terra cotta & beige tiles.

 

Flower of the month- Pelargonium citronellum

citronellum pic

Pelargonium citronellum also known as the lemon scented pelargonium because of its strong lemon scented palmate leaves which have elaborate veins on the underside and are covered by hairs also present on the stems.
The flowers are pinkish purple with darker veins on the upper petals and can grow to about 200 cm in height, its is similar to Pelargonium scabrum which is also lemon scented ,but the leaves & flowers are much larger in size and the scent is stronger.

P. Citronellum is native to the South Western Cape, on lower areas of the Langeberg mountains. It is
ideal for scented gardens or in large pots in full sun and sandy loam soils, PH neutral preferably close to water or near the coast and is great for flavouring food and beverages, added to pot pourri especially when the leaves become more fragrant in the Summer months and can also help deter insect pests and mosquitoes.

Pelargonium Mabel grey is suggested to be a hybrid between scabrum & hispidum and it is said to be the strongest lemon fragrance of all the lemon scented pelargoniums with pale purple flowers and is the original ancestor to a variety of Lemon scented hybrid pelargoniums.
Another lemon scented leaf pelargonium is P. crispum native the the Western cape which has fan shaped leaves and white to deep pink flowers.

Scented gardens

janine-joles-f0heeiu-Ec0-unsplash

Photo by Jannine Joles-unsplash.com

Scented flowers and leaves have many benefits for your health, well being, positive energy and also for providing beauty and fragrance to your home & garden.
Flower petals and scented leaves can be used to make perfume, essential oil, pot pourri, soap, rosewater scented candles, incense, a bouquet of flowers as well as for food and beverages. Recent research have shown that the aroma from scented leaves and flowers can influence our feelings and mood, by reducing stress, anxiety, fatigue and to improve memory and relaxation. The purpose of the flowers fragrance in nature is to attract bees, butterflies and moths, & the scented leaves to deter insects away from the plant.

Whether you choose to grow your scented plants near to the house, along a walkway in the garden which releases fragrance as you pass by, in a container garden on a patio, on steps, close to a dinning area, a pot full of herbs or grown along a wall or trellis they can bring great joy and pleasant aromas to your surroundings.
Planting aromatic lily bulbs in deep containers near to the home, or by a doorway or window box can be very inviting to your friends and neighbours with its strong sweet heavenly scent like the L. regale, L.henryi, L. longiflorum, L.casa blanca, . L. auratum, L. candidum, L. hansonii and various oriental lilies.
Scented flowers and herbs which have been cut and taken indoors to be dried in spring or late summer, are edible and can be used in cake making, tea, in desserts and drinks as well as for sachets, bath water, potpourri, dyes and candle & paper making such as marigold, violas, lavender, cornflowers and roses.
Fresh edible flowers such as hibiscus, honeysuckle, lavender, lilac, nasturtiums, pansies, citrus flowers, roses, violets and daisies can also be used for cake decoration, desserts, liqueur, mousse, salads or as a garnish. The flowers usually have a delicate flavour so it will not effect the overall taste of the food and can also look appetizing & artistic.
An arrangement of freshly cut scented flowers in a vase can not only lightens up a room with its array pastel shades or exotic colours but also emits a delightful fragrance.
Other scented plants ideas for creating more fragrance within your garden space include a Lavender hedge, sweet peas for their scented flowers or a rose garden.

A garden full of pleasantly rich highly scented plants can be captivating & uplifting, especially when they fill the air with perfume bringing tranquillity and relaxation to your surroundings while encouraging wildlife and creating a peaceful environment.

Scented plants can be grown not only in the garden by the side of a walkway, in a flower border or low growing varieties around stepping stones but they can also do well in containers & window boxes which is especially lovely grown close to a window, doorway or gate or archway
Frangipani has a very strong beautiful rich sweet fruity floral fragrance which come in a choice of pastel colours of pinks, white, yellows and oranges and is associated with love & romance which can also be used for essential oil, skin care and perfume, It originates from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, so it needs a hot & sunny position and in cooler countries it may need a green house or conservatory.
The Lily of the valley (convallaria majalis) has sweet scented delicate bell shaped flowers which is used for perfume, for bridal bouquets and has medicinal properties. In Greek mythology this plant was discovered by the god Apollo and is also the national flower of Yugoslavia and Finland. Gardenia has large white flowers with a strong sweet fragrance and is used for essential oil and perfume, it has been customary
in France to use the flower for decoration on tuxedos and suit jackets and also as a garnish for Tiki cocktails in bars in the South Pacific. but the downside is that it requires humid conditions in acidic soil as it is native to tropical regions.
The peony flowers range in shape with colours of purple, pink, red, white or yellow and some are more strongly scented than others usually with a sweet delicate rosy scent which is used in perfume, skin care, and has medicinal properties. The petals can also be used for making peony water, tea, salads, drinks and is also popular for cut flowers, and is a symbol for the twelfth wedding anniversary. Sweet peas have a rich intense fragrance & pastel coloured flowers of purple, blue, white or have two colours, the scent can range from low to very highly scented and is used for bouquets, essential oils, perfume & skin care and has medicinal properties. Lathyrus Odoratus ‘Matucana’ is said to have the strongest perfumed flowers of the sweet pea.

Having the luxury of growing beautiful & colourful fragrant flowers in your garden or in containers can be captivating, but they can also be used to add beauty and taste to your food and beverages such as syrups, cakes, iced drinks, teas, ice cream, salads, cocktails, jams, desserts, mousse, lemonade, stew, with cheese or simply for decoration especially if they are grown naturally without the use of pesticides.
Scented leaf pelaroniums like the P. tomenosum mint scented leaf, P. citronellum lemon scented leaf and P. capitatum rose scented leaf can be used in cake making, jellies, desserts, to flavour drinks and ice cubes more. Anise Hyssop has lavender coloured flowers which has a light liquorice like taste and is related to the mint family, this plant alone is said create up to 90,000 flowers which attracts bees and butterflies, the leaves have medicinal properties which has been traditionally used by the native Americans and the flowers can be used in hot tea, iced tea, salads, pies and sweets. Carnations are believed to be originated from the Mediterranean when it was described by Theophrastus an ancient Greek botanist 2000 years ago. The native colour is purple pink but are also available in colours of white, yellow, red, blue & green and the flowers and scent is often used in beer, wine, vinegar, sauces, salads, yogurt, cakes and desserts. Lavendula is a very popular culinary herb because if its very strong feminine floral fragrance which is also used for essential oil, L. Angustifolia ‘Munstead’ is the most usual lavender for its use in cooking which include cupcakes, sponge, scones, dressings, desserts, salads, buds in tea, honey, marshmallows, jam and can be mixed with rosemary in savoury dishes. Elderberry has white or cream colour flowers usually in clusters with a fruity floral scent and is part of the honeysuckle family, the berries when cooked are used to make wine, juice, dye and for the treatment of cold & flu. The flowers are used to flavour jam, ice-lollies, cake, desserts, marshmallows, honey and is used to flavour the french liqueur ‘St Germain and ‘Halland Flader the Swedish distilled spirit known as Akvavit.
Flowers which are used for food and beverages include Angelica, Bee balm, Begonia, calendula, carnations, Chamomile, chicory, Chives, Chrysanthemums, Clover, Cornflowers. Daisy, Dandelions, Day lilies, Elderflower, Apple/Pear/Plum or Citrus blossom, Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Honeysuckle, Lavender, Marshmallow, Lilac and Nasturtum.

Freshly cut fragrant flowers picked straight from your garden for an elegant bouquet arrangement for your dinning area, living room or bedroom can be exquisite especially when they fill the air with their heavenly scents while adding beauty with many colour varieties to your living space area,
Flowers such as Chrysanthemums, Sweet pea, lily, sunflower, tulips, gladiolus, roses, corn flower, peony, carnations, dianthus and gypsophila, eucalyptus and succulents can be grown from seed, bulbs or plants from a garden centre or nursery, When you cut your plant for a bouquet it is best to cut the stems at an angle so that the ends will not settle at the base of the vase and to remove any leaves and branches from the stems which will go in water, Place the flowers up against the vase and measure the length, cutting the correct size you desire, the flowers will last longer if the vase has been cleaned frequently after use with the removal of previous plant debris. Spread out the flowers evenly around the vase removing any dead blooms, the primary flowers are the ones you wish to show up the most in your arrangement such as large or colourful ones and the secondary flowers are usually smaller in size, you also need to add interesting plant leaves to create a balance of flowers within your bouquet. Place the flowers into a vase which has been half filled with water add a table spoon of sugar or mix in plant food to your vase to help to preserve the flowers for longer and it is advisable to change the water every three days.
Zinnia, which is part of the daisy Asteraceae family with brightly coloured flowers of white, yellow, orange, red and lilac, native to North & South America and is said to be the longest lasting flowers in a bouquet, followed by orchids ,carnation, delphiniums, chrysanthemums, alstroemeria and gladiolus.
Succulent types such as Scabiosa flowers that forms a rosette shape in various colours of purple, red, Pink and orange, goes well with roses in a vase. Echereria are greyish blue succulents that has flower stalks with brightly coloured rosettes which can make a bouquet look more sculptural and elegant, another is Aeanium a low growing succulent with leaves that form a rosette also know as the house leek, there are a number of species and cultivars some with dark reddish brown leaves.

Highly scented fresh flowers and herbs can be used to make essential oil from your own garden for treating a range of aliments, relaxation and massage.
Flowers such as chamomile, geranium, clary sage, jasmine, juniper berry, lavender, rose and more are made for floral scents so you can make your own face or body cream, soap, face mask, massage oil for aromatherapy or to add it to your bath water.
Collecting fresh flowers, leaves or herbs from your garden and adding them to a steam distiller with water which is heated from underneath, the steam from the plants goes through the chambers of the pot and then drips out as essential oil, it can be purchased in a range of different sizes.
Cold pressed essential oils are made from citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons and limes which are peeled and placed in a cloth, then crushed to release the essential oils.
Maceration is when the flowers are infused in a carrier oil such as sunflower or almond, then placed into a copper pot and heated underneath for a few hours and the remaining essential oil is filtered.

Enfleurage is the oldest method where essential oils are extracted using the hot or cold method for more fragile flowers like jasmine and rose, this can be done by using a glass frame with a coat of animal fat or fatty oil, the frames are stacked on top of one another and after a few days to weeks the flowers are replaced with new ones, later alcohol is added with the fat and then separated to create essential oil.
Blue tansies are perennial herbs with yellow flowers that resemble a button in shape, the essential oil is dark blue and has a fragrance similar to apple which is great in skin care for delicate and irritated skin and making it look more glowing. It is also used as an insect repellent and to flavour sauces, omelettes and puddings & the Cherokee also used this plant for medicinal uses.
Ylang Ylang also know as the perfume tree is native to tropical Asia and is part of the custard apple family. The leaves are oval and shiny with yellow star shaped flowers which face downwards. Essential oil is pale yellow beige in colour with a custard like fragrance and a dash of jasmine & neroli, used in perfume and aromatherapy.
Jasmine meaning ‘gift from god’ derived from the Persian word Yasanen is popular for its highly scented flowers and is part of the olive family, the flowers are white or pale yellow and grows as a shrub or vine. The essential oil has a sweet exotic floral scent and is used for perfume, aromatherapy, for favouring tea and for religious ceremonies. Other flowers include helichrysun (sweet rich fragrance), bergamont (floral citrus), neroli (sweet spicy floral), rhododendrom (fresh light scent) and yallow (fruity herb).

Best flowering pelargoniums for Spring

Best flowering pelargoniums for Spring include: 

P. denticulatum a large slightly bushy shrub full of pastel pink flowers during Spring which looks stunning when lit up by the sun and also attracts honey bees, excellent for a border plant.

peli denti watermarked

Pelargonium graveolens which grows well in medium to large pots and is an attractive plant with rose/mint scented leaves and pretty pink flowers and a lovely plant to grow near the house in a sunny area.

Other spring flower pelargoniums include P. quercifolium- grows well with other shrubs like rosemary.

P. visscossimum, P. odoratissmum. P. vitifolium, P. grossularioides, P. tongaense, P. elongatum and P. greytonense.

Pelargonium pattern designs

Fabric, wallpaper and home decor of various pelargonium species are now available at spoonflower.com with free shipping worldwide until the 6th March at https://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/charisestellepatterndesigns

pattern 1for website Pelargonium capitatum rose scented leaf –https://www.spoonflower.com/en/fabric/9560174-pelargonium-capitatum-rose-scented-leaf-by-charisestellepatterndesigns

pattern 2 for webpage Pelargonium greytonense- https://www.spoonflower.com/en/fabric/9540352-pelargonium-greytonense-pattern-by-charisestellepatterndesigns

pattern 3 for website Pelargonium denticulatum balsam scented https://www.spoonflower.com/en/fabric/9595019-pelargonium-denticulatum-pattern-design-by-charisestellepatterndesigns

pattern 5 for website Pelargonium odoratissium apple scented-https://www.spoonflower.com/en/fabric/9489026-pelargonium-odoratissimum-pattern-design-by-charisestellepatterndesigns

Garden journal-scented pelargonium species

My latest book- garden journal is now available

journal garden front cover

A garden journal for all your garden needs which covers information on seed germination & various methods, growing pelargoniums,stem cuttings, pruning, plant anatomy and for planing your garden a weekly calendar, notes, seed & plant list, plant expenses and a garden design layout for designing /creating new ideas your garden.

Available in various Amazon stores-https://www.amazon.com/Garden-journal-scented-pelargonium-species/dp/B0851MXWKR/ref=sr_1_2 

Angel pelargoniums

The angel pelargoniums are hybrids believed to be derived from P. crispum a lemon scented pelargonium and P. grossularioides a fruit scented pelargonium.

Although they have almost certainly been crossed several times with hybrids such as the regal and other pelargonium species with one of its parents or closely related types.

It was named the Angel pelargonium pelargonium by Dereck Clifford because they looked similar to Pelargonium dumosum which was illustrated and described by Sweet, the Latin name “Dumus” meaning house of the church which may have had some reference to Angel.

Pelargonium crispum may have been crossed with a hybrid known as ” the Shar” but this is not certain, The first known pelargonium Angels to be created was by Arthur Langley Smith who produced many with pink, white and pale purple flowered varieties with veins and patterned markings. Arthur was a school teacher who lives in London, he named one of his creations ” Mrs G H Smith” a white flowered pelargonium with blushes of bright pink after his wife of the same name.

Angel pelargoniums such as P. crispum angel eyes still have leaves that are very similar to P. crispum and are usually scented, the species pelargonium  P crispum has fan shaped crisped edged leaves that are lemon scented and is used for essential oil and potpourri. This plant is native to South Africa in the Western Cape where it grows in sandy rocky areas, on mountainsides and hills.

P. tritidum is also believed to have been used to create the hybrid angel pelargonium which was introduced to Kew gardens in the late 1700s by Masson. It is also known as the brittle stalked pelargonium because it has delicate thin stems and bright green leaves which are divided into 2-3 leaflets and has a strong unpleasant fragrance, the flowers are white with deep purple markings native to the Western and Eastern Cape.

The angel pelargonium “hybrid”Henry Weller” which has large dark purple pansy like flowers with a white outline, has similar leaves and long flower stems to P. grossularioides a fruit scented pelargonium with leaves that closely resembles a gooseberry leaf which is kidney shaped, the flowers are small and reddish purple and is native to coastal areas of South Africa and also further inland in the Eastern Cape.

Pelargonium x citronellum- Mabel grey

Pelargonium x citronellum known as Mabel grey is an upright shrub with rough palmate (maple shaped) grey green leaves and pale pinkish purple flowers, it is said to be the strongest lemon scented pelargonium and some regard this plant as a species native to the South Eastern Western Cape on the foothills of the Langeberg mountains & close to streams. Although it is also suggested to be a cross between P. Scabrum (lemon scented leaf) and P. Hispidum (balsam scented leaf) presented in 1962 and named after Countess de Grey (a British aristocrat in Bedfordshire) by her daughter Lady Baring wife of Sir Evelyn baring, governor in Kenya 1952-1959

p x citronellum mabel grey