One of the most intoxicating scents of the summer and when the linden trees are in full bloom they are literally vibrating with the buzzing of bees. The aroma is of the most delicious honey and for a few short weeks it permeates the air. It is no wonder that the flowers of this tree are most prized in herbal infusions and that their key gift is to relax us and lull us into a state of calm. In France, there is even a tradition of putting fractious children to sleep under the branches of the tree.
Linden or lime is not to be confused with the citrus lime which is in an entirely different plant family. These trees have long been prized both for the flowers and for the wood – also known as basswood that is pale in colour and can be very intricately carved. Many medieval churches have used basswood for decoration and as the name implies it can be used to make stringed instruments.