Scent From Heaven
by Sara Whatley
Make your garden a place of heaven scent joy not just for the eyes, but for the nose as well. Sara Whatley brings you her top six fragrant plants.
A garden in full bloom is a thing of beauty indeed. And for many the planning, planting and nurturing along the way is an equal joy. But what of scent? This oft-forgotten layer of the garden brings an extra enjoyment to spending time outside, and if you choose your plants carefully you can fragrance your garden all day and night long. Selecting flowers and herbs with scents you enjoy, and importantly, don’t find overwhelming, and strategically placing them around your garden will create points of interest and reasons to pause and appreciate their perfume.
To start you on the journey we have chosen some sweet-smelling flowers and herbs to inspire your fragrant garden.
A classic of the English country garden with gently wafting spears of purple flowers and evergreen leaves. Large swaths of this plant look wonderful and will buzz with happy bees in the summer months. Plant close to a seating area and elevated if possible so your nose can appreciate the fragrance in its full glory.
If you like the scent of citrus but don’t want the hassle of growing fruit trees, then mock orange is your answer. A spring blooming shrub which looks great in borders and as cut flowers, it will fill your garden with the sweet and light scent of orange, while the fragrant white flowers look very pretty with their yellow centres.
With big blousy blooms and lush dark green foliage, peonies really are stunning and dramatic flowers to have in your garden. They come in a huge range of colours, are exceptionally hardy and reliably flower year after year with not much maintenance. And the smell… an intoxicating ladylike sweet blush – divine.
A member of the mint family, the fresh and pleasing scent of this herb will lift your garden and your mood with its distinct lemony smell. It’s an ideal choice as it can be made into tea and provides a delicious addition to salads and marinades. Like mint, you just have to keep lemon balm in check or it will happily take over your garden.
It’s not too picky about where it grows, although it likes its roots in shade and tops in sunlight or light shade, and will happily climb over windows, trellises and fences. Honeysuckle has highly perfumed flowers with a bright, sweet scent which comes out most distinctly in the evening, perfect for a summers evening soiree.
A truly seductive, exotic scent with delicate star burst flowers in white, pink or yellow. This climber comes in both summer fragranced and winter non- fragranced varieties. Planting in a well sheltered spot in sun or light shade will let the fragrance build up and not get lost on the wind, providing you with a beautiful perfumed pocket.