3 BEAUTIFULLY SCENTED PLANTS FOR THE KITCHEN
Houseplants are a simple way to transform your space, adding a touch of colour and life to your home. They're even good for you, as they reduce stress and improve air quality. Adding a few plants can really brighten up utilitarian rooms like kitchens, and make daily tasks like dishwashing and cooking a little more pleasant. Growing your own herbs and window-sill salad ingredients is environmentally friendly, too. Did you know that nearly 72% of shoppers now take the environmental impact of their shopping choices into consideration when they purchase food and other groceries? Try these three beautifully scented plants in your kitchen:
These exotic looking beauties make a great addition to any kitchen. They come in a variety of different colours and scents, so there's something for everyone. Try the yellow, lemon-scented Cymbidium Golden Elf. They're also surprisingly easy to look after, as they don't need daily watering. Instead, just once a week, fill your kitchen sink with a few inches of cold water and set your orchids in to have a drink for about 30 minutes. Voila!
The delicate, sweet floral fragrance of jasmine gives your kitchen a touch of elegance and luxury. There are several varieties that can do well indoors – Arabian jasmine, for example, flowers most of the year. Jasmine thrives in sunny but humid environments. Place it near a window, keep its soil moist, and feed it an all-purpose houseplant fertiliser in the spring and summer months. Once your jasmine plant is well-established and flowering, you could even try making your own jasmine tea!
Some plants can pull triple duty for the senses – they don't just look pretty and taste incredible, they smell great, too! While all kitchens would benefit from having a windowsill herb garden, there are a few useful herbs that smell especially delicious.
Basil is an easy to grow, fragrant herb that tastes great in a Caprese salad, topping pizza and pasta dishes, or used as a base for homemade pesto. I’m growing red rubin basil from seeds in my kitchen, because it has a stronger flavour and unusual reddish-purple leaves with a higher decorative impact.
Mint has a clean, fresh smell and makes a lovely addition to roast lamb, Middle Eastern dishes like tabouleh, and lemonade. It's also an essential ingredient in mojitos, and you can even try it as a garnish for desserts, as mint pairs well with chocolate and fruit flavours.
Rosemary is another low-maintenance, great smelling herb that can be used in a variety of ways. It's gorgeous with poultry – for an easy roast chicken, just cut a lemon in half and stick it inside a whole chicken with rosemary.
Lemongrass, lavender, thyme, coriander, parsley… I like to go with the season and change throughout the year.
Note that potted herbs purchased in supermarkets are likely to be harder to maintain on the long run, because they were designed for fast growth and immediate comsumption. So, if you’d like to keep herbs alive in the kitchen, head to your local nursery or market and inquire about good quality organic herbs grown in nutrient-rich soil, you will get much better results. If you are into growing your own herbs, I’ll soon write a blog about self-watering containers that are perfect to grow aromatic herbs. So stay tuned!
Tip: If you're ever faced with too much of a good thing and your herbs need to be pruned back to stay on your windowsill, don't throw away the excess trimmings! Preserve your herbs by drying them on a baking sheet in the oven on a low heat, or mix them with butter or olive oil and freeze them in an ice cube tray to make your own easy to use flavour-bombs.
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