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Garden Scents, Garden Work
A Walk in Jeanne Rose's Garden


Garden Entry D • • •

Artemisia arborescens

small Japanese Honeysuckle

As I hit the garden proper, this part of the path is composed of broken bricks and full-sized bricks that were extracted from the foundation of my 1900 Redwood Victorian home. When we re-did the foundation, we took out the bricks and we kept them and used them to make this particular path. We try to recycle everything from the house. It is an old house and everything about it is precious. There is a half-circle of bricks here leading to a path that is quite narrow and the path winds to the back of the garden. You know that the devil can only walk a straight line so my paths wind and circle to keep out all negative influence.

I have Orris Root for teething babies, I have Woodruff for May wine, and I have more Spearmint for Mint Juleps. As I go towards the garden and into the garden itself on my left is Artemisia arborescens which when distilled makes a deep navy blue essential oil used for serious skin conditions. Artemisia arborescens and the annual Tansy all are blue because of the azulene content. 

There is Honeysuckle and Rosa gallica that is already blooming. 

gallica Apothecary Rose

Rosa gallica officinalis is called the Apothecary rose. It dates before 1300 and is used to make Rose petal medicine, attar of Rose and potpourri. The scent is wonderful and its uses are innumerable. There is a small Angelica that I am somewhat bonsai-ing. It is in a little flue tile and it will never have room enough to grow big. Here is Feverfew, the leaves of which are used as a tea for migraine headache. To the left are Pansies and Lime Thyme in a clay pot that is perched on a truck axle. To the right is a huge, big quartz crystal that is the guardian crystal of the garden. There are more of my son's metal toys from when he was a baby, hanging in the trees and placed along the higgley piggley fence.

A Lilac tree overhead may have to come down soon because it seems to be beginning to collapse. It was in full bloom at the beginning of April, now the blooms are beginning to die, and it is beginning to leaf out. [Sadly by 1997, the Lilac had to be removed.]    Lilac
East side E  • • • on right
Slipped right in front of the “Cedar” slat fence and just behind the Lilac is the Peppermint. 

What a fragrant plant. Mentha x piperita is a wonderful therapeutic plant, the tea and the essential oil are used to soothe the digestive tract and calm upset stomach. Tea or 1 drop of eo/cup of water is drunk. 

This is a wonderful essential oil for so many fragrant and therapeutic uses.

As I walk along and continue on the left side there is quite a good-sized hedge of a scented Geranium called Oak Leaf Geranium. This can be distilled, the essential oil collected and a hydrosol used for skin care.

We have Sweet Violets in a flue tile. Viola odora blooms in February and March. It is very fragrant. 

Sweet Violet is used for its vitamin C content and well as compresses for a sore throat or “clergyman’s throat”.

East Side E • • •

Again, to the left is a large area where I keep the flowering Ginger, both White and Yellow Ginger that will bloom at the end of summer. It has a fragrance that wafts into my bedroom on warm September nights and can be used to make wonderfully fragrant body perfumes. 

Flowering White ginger


Oh, yes, we have a Cistus ladaniferous on the left. Cistus ladaniferous is a perennial shrub. The gum and essential oil all have a fragrant, unforgettable balsamic scent called Labdanum. This is used in skin care and when inhaled has a powerful ability to bring up buried memories. 

Giant Burmese Honeysuckle

Lonicera hildebrandiana, the giant Burmese Honeysuckle is growing against the entire length of the east fence. In front, is the Geranium hedge and beyond is the Lemon verbena tree. 
Now, as I walk the path, I am underneath the 15-foot tall Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) tree. The trunk is still ahead of me. The leaves reach out to me already. I see Comfrey; I see another kind of Pelargonium.
Now, coming to where the small path begins to widen out again, I see Marshmallow officinalis, on the right at the base of my wondrous Lemon Verbena. The Marshmallow roots are used for a variety of emollient treatments for therapy. It is very soothing. I can see the trunk of the Lemon Verbena; it is about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. It is huge. 

I have recently been chopping away at the Honeysuckle that was beginning to strangle the Lemon Verbena, but now it is okay. We use Lemon Verbena leaves as a sleepy-time tea, with other flowers and leaves as a cool summer beverage or distilled for the hydrosol. Right at the bottom of the fence, here to my left and just back of my Lemon Verbena you can see the Angel of Silence, a small 3-foot tall sculpture sitting in the midst of Vinca minor
Jeanne Rose, San Francisco, CA,
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