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Friday, March 27, 2009

The Monstrous Lemon Balm

I went over to Apperceive and Hanaabi's. I met two young people with flawless complexions and smiles that lit up the corridor. Without being told the unit number, I already knew which apartment to head towards. All I needed to do was follow the forest of plants that lined the walls all the way up to the non descript door impossibly framing 3 open and generous faces - Hanaabi, Apperceive, and Mom. I was there to get the Monstrous Lemon Balm.

I had very much wanted that plant ever since I read about it in Apperceive's post (or was it Hanaabi?). But you know, one must be polite on the forum and I hesitated to ask for my heart's desire. It's one thing to advertise that one needs seeds of one sort or another and leave people the choice to offer their seeds, or simply just to be silent. It's another when the whole world knows that Apperceive and Hanaabi are the only ones who actually have the Monstrous Lemon Balm to give away. One can't very well ask only to put them in a spot in case they haven't enough to give!

So, I put up a request for lemon balm seeds instead. I hoped merely to grow the normal lemon balms that die after a while in my garden despite all the care I give to them. But well... I guess I'm still not used to the generosity of GCS forummers. Without thinking twice, Apperceive and Hanaabi offered to give me one of their mother's monstrous specimens instead. So now, I am in proud possession of the Monstrous Lemon Balm. It looks like a cross between the Indian Borage and the Lemon Balm. Where the Indian Borage smells like the bottom of my husband's golf bag, this one has the citrus fragrance of the Lemon Balm. Where the Lemon Balm's citrus scent is gently subtle, this one's fragrance envelopes my head and fills the nose with its sweet tart flavour. Actually, it smells the way a French Lemon Tart tastes. Where the Lemon Balm's leaves are like thin pieces of crepe paper, this one has soft and cushiony leaves that little elves and fairies could comfortably sleep on at night. And whilst the Lemon Balm has small prim leaves, this one's leaves are unabashedly large and joyfully expansive - like the well-meaning country woman with big hips, big bosom, big heart and loud voice. And just like women of such ilk, this plant is robust in health and very resilient. It is so easy to grow!!

The differences are so stark between what I know to be Lemon Balm and this Monstrous Lemon Balm that I rather suspect that it isn't Lemon Balm at all. I don't know what it is. Maybe it is a cross between Indian Borage and Lemon Balm? But who cares, I ventured to make of it a delicious tea and I am still very much alive. When a plant is edible, fragrant and easy to grow, what more can you ask for?


Blur Ting said...

I simply love to read the way you describe your plants so beautifully! You will make a great novel writer and your characters will be plants. :-)

petunialee said...

Actually... I am about to publish a book. Marshall-Cavendish and SPH have expressed interest. However, they haven't made a commitment yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Book title: "How to get your child to WANT to study". Not about growing plants. About growing people.

Blur Ting said...

Wow, fantastic! I was just nagging at my son on the way to school this morning. His mandarin is so bad and yet he's doing nothing about it. See, we all need a book like that. Good move! :-)

Blur Ting said...

How's your chamomile? I'm so bad at growing this, mine didn't germinate at all. My green fingers are not delicate enough.

petunialee said...

Oooooooooooh! Mine has flowered! If you want, I can pass you a seedling. I've passed a few to some GCS members. But you'll need to come by and pick 'em up though... and I stay in Woodlands, which many consider kinda far.

I went to Porta Porta after reading your blog. It was deeeelicious. My son was licking his plate!! I was so embarrassed by his lack of table manners!

Blur Ting said...

I am so impressed with your chamomile! I wonder what went wrong with mine?

I'm so glad your son loves the food at Porta Porta. I have yet to bring my sons there. YK birthday's coming up and I'm thinking of giving him a treat.

Blur Ting said...

Actually I go by your area frequently. Next time I shall give you a buzz when I'm heading that way.

petunialee said...

Ok! Sounds good!

I'll get some seedlings under way for you then? Give me about 2 to 3 weeks. I'll post in your blog when they're big enough?

Sherwyn said...

Hey Petunia,

We are happy that the Lemon Balm are growing well under your care.. Did you manage to grow the Headless Kai Lan that my mom passed you as well?

Looking forward to the publication of your book! We are both very interested in the area of People Development as well! =)