April 12, 2024


Award Winning Spa

A Scented Garden

A scented garden is delightful at any time, a wonderful place to relax, the scented garden can be therapeutic, but is also a fabulous place to entertain.

It is a well known fact that there are certain smells that trigger intense emotional reactions. Some scents are famous for their ability to create different moods, for example

Lemon – clears the mind.

Mint – invigorating and uplifting.

Lavender – very calming.

While few gardens have the climate for lemon trees, a lemon scent can be experienced in many flowers, there are several lemon scented varieties of geranium and many lemon scented herbs, such as thyme.

Why Do Plans Smell?

Plants create an aroma by producing organic compounds on their surfaces. Fragrant flowers have perfume in glands on their petals to lure pollinators. Not all flowers have a lovely smell, in some plants it is the foliage that is scented. This comes from water repellent essential oils that are manufactured by glandular leaf hairs to repel leaf eating predators, mainly insects. Some plants exude a scent which is decidedly undesirable, most noticeably the carnivorous plants, many of which smell like rotting flesh.

The first thing to do in a scented garden is to make coming up your path a pleasant experience. If you have a stone or flagstone path, plant creeping thyme between the flagstones, and lavender to edge the path. As you crush the thyme and brush past the lavender, they will release a glorious scent, both come in many colors and several different perfumes, thyme can smell of anything, from caraway to citrus and as a bonus of course can be used in grilling and in cooking. Fill tubs or pots with scented geraniums and trailing, variegated ivies and put them near your front door. In the evening the scent will be heavenly.

Nothing is nicer than a garden filled with the spicy scent of Old Fashioned Roses. You can gather the petals to make potpourri or rosewater, or even rose petal ice cream, and of course while in bloom they are so beautiful to look at.

Use fragrant climbing shrubs like Honeysuckle or Jasmine on your fences, walls or on an arbor with a built in seat so that you can sit, surrounded by scent on a summers evening when the gardens’ perfume is at it’s height. Some of these shrubs and vines grow at a rate of knots and it won’t take long before you can’t even see a wall or fence.

Plant Evergreens to keep the garden looking good in the winter to so if you are looking for a flowering, wonderfully scented, evergreen shrub that will grow anywhere, look no further than Eleangus Ebingei, it has insignificant flowers and, grey green leaves that have a spectacular white underside, more than one of these and your garden will be full of the most glorious scent from August to November. Another is Helicrysum or the curry plant, with it’s distinctive scent, as well as the yellow Choisyas and don’t forget the Lavenders and Rosmarinus with it’s fragrant needle like leaves. Consider Casimine and the Mock Orange that smells like orange flowers, Nepeta or Catnip which not only smells good to cats but to us too. Monardo or Beebalm has scented foliage, but can be invasive so plant in pots. Perovskia or Russian Sage, is not a sage but has a sage like smell from all parts of the plant and Santolina too, these are all sweet smelling and a joy to have in your garden.

Growing plants for their visual appeal is only one small part of gardening. Why delight one sense when you can delight them all?