Lemon balm is in the mint family and spreads itself and comes back. We had some actual spearmint in the back yard last summer, good for iced tea or mint juleps or mojitos, but where is it? Alas, only the lemon balm has returned.
mojito is the Cuban highball. We like mojitos in our house due to specific and general attractions to 1) Cubans 2) James Bond movies 3) Halle Berry 4) lime and mint.
Later in June, I'll probably tell you about day lilies taking over the
After Memorial Day--love, family, remembrance--I am glad to enjoy this abundance of life after the rains, even if I pull some of it out.
And then smell like lemon Pledge.
Credits: Melissa officinalis (lemon balm)
& Franz Eugen Koehler (public domain)
And now today's wonderful random (reading) coincidence: After I pull up the lemon balm and smell like lemon polish, I read, in Unless, by Carol Shields, "I won't even mention the swift, transitory reward of lemon spray wax." The kind of sentence that defies itself, in a passage about the common experience of comforting oneself with housework. (Or gardening.)
And on the next page, the main character, a translator, tells the writer she is translating that she might want to use the word "brain" instead of the word "heart," because "heart" is fey and passé and not-very-enlightened in a feminist way.
"But this is where I feel pain," says the writer. "And tenderness."
And that is what I must tell anyone who tells me not to use the word "heart" in a poem or that taking up gardening, and writing about it, is clichéd or risks sentimentality. So what? I take the risk.
Oops, I sound a little bitter. Or bittersweet. But that's a plant of a different color.