Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Yes. . . . I love it.
Then again, I love the smell of boxwood, too. It reminds me of mansions and arboretums and hot summer days punctuated by dark, moist shade under enormous trees. I was smaller then.
I found a plant marked "patchouli" at the local nursery this spring. "Tender herb", it said.
"Rather unprepossessing", I thought. I bought it anyway.
It has survived the summer, but remained unprepossessing. Kind of ratty, raggy leaves, no flowers. No aroma. I kept meaning to check online to figure out what it's supposed to do - where is the scent supposed to come from?! Is it expected to flower, or something?
Turns out it's the leaves that are fragrant. They're only mildly so in the garden, but you can dry them and put them in sachets. Distilling them into essential oil is apparently more trouble than it's worth, and would consume the entire plant. And still need more. For those who think it smells like bug spray, take heart: it repels destructive bugs from silks and woolens. The rest of us non-destructive types can be trusted around such treasures, and so love the aroma.
I'm looking at the plant with a bit more affection. I covet its leaves, which I'll be pinching back any day now. Not too much, now. . . . I understand it will flower - unspectacularly - in the fall.
Unprepossessing. But what an aroma! One people seem to either love - or hate.
I love it. I know. I said that already.