Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sweet Vanilla Scent

Valerian has become so widespread that no one can say for certain just where it is considered a native plant and where man has introduced it.  Medical properties attributed to this plant over several centuries have resulted in it growing on nearly every continent.  We have found Valerian in our gardens for so long that we cannot remember its original source to us.  Every year we find more of these plants in our gardens and all are welcome to stay.

Root extracts contain the substances claimed to have beneficial health impacts on humans.  As is the case with virtually all medicines, there may be a dangerous downside here.  Taking roots means killing the plant so we have never ventured toward self produced extracts.  My last year of employment was emotionally difficult since administration had targeted me for elimination and I did regularly use purchased Valerian pills during this time period.  Then it seemed to help keep me calm and peaceful.  Now I gain similar benefits from the appearance of the plants throughout our gardens.

 Our attraction to this plant is the sweet scent given off by the flowers when the sun shines upon them.  The perfume is a little overbearing but how can there ever be too much of a vanilla scent?  Frequently a bee is found to be working the flowers very close to where I place my nose.  I am calmed by the flowers aroma and the bees also appear peaceful.  We have to date had no interactions other than our close proximity to each other.

Some find Valerian's tall and rangy growth unsightly.  At just over six feet tall, I am able to smell the flowers while standing.  The upper portions of the plant are mostly open.  When the flowers go past we simply prune them back to low green growth.  The scent and its calming effect on all who come near is the reason that we have this plant.  Ageing has dulled many of my senses but my ability to take in and enjoy a flower's perfume is still sharp.

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