Fragrant Favourites: Here Bryan Leech of Kilgraney House and Herb Gardens presents his top three herbal treasures.


From the refreshing allure of Lemon Verbena to the timeless elegance of Bay Tree and the zesty charm of Lemon Thyme, each herb holds a special place in the herb gardens at Kilgraney.

Lemon Verbena, Aloysia Citrodora

An elegant herb with slender stalks bearing lance-shaped leaves that smell strongly of lemon. It is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family Verbenaceae, native to South America. The plant begs you to touch its leaves for a euphoric hit of lemony scent. We use the leaves to make a refreshing herbal tea.

Bay tree, Laurus nobilis

An aromatic evergreen tree with dark green leaves. It is in the flowering plant family Lauraceae and is native to the Mediterranean region. We have bay trees across the gardens at Kilgraney, in the kitchen garden to reflect its use for seasoning in cooking and in the fragrant sanctuary to reflect its use as a fragrance in gents hair preparations. We also use bay to flavour ice cream.

Lemon Thyme, Thymus Citriodorus

Lemon thyme or citrus thyme, is a lemon-scented evergreen mat-forming perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae. Like Lemon Verbena, the plant begs to be touched to experience its lemony scent. We use this thyme variety the most to season and flavour a variety of dishes and stuffings.