Scent-sational gardening


DIY and how-to

Scent-sational Gardening

One of the best aspects of gardening is that it stimulates all of our senses, and one of the most powerful ways it does this is through fragrant plants. Plants have pleasant scents in order to attract the pollinators necessary for their survival, such as bees and butterflies. Most flowering plants release their scent during the day when the light and temperatures are at their highest. They do this in order to attract daytime pollinators like butterflies. Other flowering plants, such as evening primrose and brugmansia, release their scent at night time, as they are pollinated by insects which are active at night.

Leaf-scented plants, such as rosemary, lavender, thyme and basil release their scent when their leaves are touched or crushed. They are best planted along pathways, or as a groundcover between paving stones to experience their aromas to the full.

Here are a few tips for using fragrant plants in your garden :

  • Create a scented canopy for an outdoor patio by planting climbing roses and jasmine around the base of the pergola.
  • Position your scented plants in a fairly sheltered area of the garden, as strong winds will disperse their smell very quickly.
  • Avoid placing too many scented plants in close proximity in a closed area like a patio – the different smells will all compete with each other and the result is likely to be too overpowering.
  • Try planting scented trees in various prominent areas of your garden, such as at entrance gates and close to garden benches. Good options are the false olive (creamy white scented flowers which attract butterflies), cheesewood (sweet scented flowers and liquorice scented bark) and frangipani (attractive scented white or pink flowers with yellow centres).

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