I have been asked that question more than once. True, a Scented Geranium (pelargonium) does seem like a novelty, but she is useful as well as beautiful. I honestly couldn't bare the cold winter months without her sitting on my window sill. Plus I love collecting them. There are so many different scents that it wouldn't seem right to commit myself to just one.
These little plants were the stars of Victorian gardens. Their scented leaves were very popular in bouquets, keeping unattractive smells at bay. Cooking with the leaves was also a popular activity. Leaves were placed in sugar bowls, layered in cakes, and infused in syrups and teas. During the 19th century at the peak of their popularity there were hundreds of varieties. Eventually they fell out of popularity to their showy cousin the large landscape geranium.
Scented Geraniums do make wonderful house plants. Given a sunny window they will happily bloom throughout the winter. Keep them neatly trimmed and allow the plants
soil to dry a bit between watering. It is a good idea to re-pot them in the spring. Easy to care for they prefer a little shade in your outside summer garden. This is a plant that can be enjoyed for many years.
So my answer to the question "What can I do with a Scented Geranium (pelargonium)? Lemon varieties are good at keeping mosquitos at bay. Attar of Rose Geranium is an easy way to add Rose flavoring to cooking and drinks. Actually there is a huge variety of flavors to add a fun twist to your cooking (infusing your own flavored water). Most importantly to me is to keep these historical beauties a part of our gardens so that we can pass them on.
Scented Geranium Sugar
Rub 4 Rose of other scented geranium leaves to release the oil. Place with 1 1/2 cups of sugar in an air tight container overnight. Discard leaves the next day. Enjoy in drinks or baking.