Manor Farm Herbs
Manor Farm
Oxfordshire OX27 8DP

Lemon Balm 'All Gold'

Melissa officinalis 'All Gold'

45cm (18in)
Suitable for:
Any soil in partial shade
Lemon Balm 'All Gold': Melissa officinalis 'All Gold'

This is a very useful herb for brightening up shady corners with a splash of gold. Partial shade is ideal, in summer especially the foliage will scorch if not protected from the midday sun. Ordinary green lemon balm, whist being a useful and scented herb, is very invasive by seeding all over the garden. The gold variety is much more easily controlled, spreading to form a mound up to 45cm across but rarely self seeding.

The flowers in summer are quite insignificant but very attractive to bees. In fact the name Melissa is Greek for honey bee.

The lemon flavoured leaves are widely used in all types of cooking. They are particularly popular in stuffings for lamb and pork, all types of salads, drinks like wine cups and most especially with fruit.

Creamy Summer Fruit Salad

  • 500 g summer fruit
  • (strawberries, raspberries, cultivated blackberries can all be used either alone or mixed)
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 2 tbs golden castor sugar
  • 125 ml greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbs orange juice
  • 20 lemon balm leaves – finely chopped
  • the leaves from 5 sprigs of pineapple mint – finely chopped

Mix together the sugar, yoghurt and orange juice and fold the mixture into the whipped cream. Stir in the fruit and the herbs and spoon into a decorative serving dish.

If the ingredients were not chilled, then refrigerate before serving, garnished with sprigs of the herbs.

Lemon balm leaves also make a refreshing herb tea especially popular in France where it is served as a tonic and for headaches. The dried leaves are used in herb sachets and pillows to promote restful sleep.