Garden scents and sensibility


DIY and how-to

A colourful flower garden featuring white hydrangeas, purple agapanthus, and yellow black-eyed Susans.

Our sense of smell is an incredibly evocative sense, and it’s also the sense that lets us know that we’re really outside in the garden, rather than admiring it from inside. Creating a garden filled with wonderful scents will add a whole new dimension to your gardening experience, and it’s easier to achieve than you’d think.

Here are a few tips and pointers to keep in mind:

A sheltered garden will retain scent better than a very exposed garden. So invest in good wind-breaking trees and shrubs for your periphery.

Too many competing scents can be very confusing (and not always pleasant). Avoid this scenario by placing fragranced plants at strategic points in your garden and then separating them with buffers of non-scented plants. This way, each plant’s scent will be allowed to come into its own.

Scented perennials are a brilliant garden investment, as they will faithfully flower each year, providing pleasant scents without much work on your part.

Place scented plants close to entrances or windowsills where they will receive maximum exposure.

If you’re entertaining at night, water the garden just before sunset. The added moisture in the air enhances fragrance, so your guests will be treated to the wonderful aromas of your garden as they arrive and leave.

Suggestions for scented plants: Try yesterday, today and tomorrow, gardenias, freesias, sweet peas and roses with soft, delicate petals, such as Oklahoma, Double Delight, Moon River, Papa Meilland, Red Bavaria, Compassion and Crimson Glory. Strongly scented herbs like lavender, basil, thyme and mint are also wonderful.

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