My 9 year old rose scented geranium (One of the first plants I ever owned) has thrown up a rare blossom this week. Don’t get too excited for me. Scented geraniums are not known for their flowers. The flowers are weak and unexciting. But the beauty of scented geraniums lies not in their blossoms, but in their leaves.
I first went head-over-heels for these plants after hearing that they were once used to line the paths in Southern gardens during pre-civil war times. It was the fashion for women to wear extraordinarily wide, bell shaped hoop skirts in those days, which gave them the nickname (as we know them) of Southern Belles.
Those hoop skirts were so wide that they would overspill the garden paths and brush the leaves and stems of the planted scented geraniums. The result was a walk filled with pleasant perfumes. And knowing what the Southern temperatures can get to in the summer and considering that anti-perspirant had not yet been invented and how many layers were involved in those dresses, I imagine the smell of the scented geraniums was a welcome reprieve.
My rose scented geranium lives next to the pond chairs. I can sit and fidget with the leaves so that the air smells like a few dozen roses (without the blackspot, thorns and heartbreak that real roses always bring me) while listening to my little waterfall. Overall, a rather nice place to sit and enjoy.