Your sense of smell is one of the most powerful ways to calm your mind and invoke memories. Walking into a garden and being met with a waft of a beautiful perfume can instantly change your mood and transport you into a different world.
By planting sweet smelling plants and flowers, you can turn your garden into a feast for all your senses. But what plants should you choose for the strongest fragrances? And what works best together?
We’ve put together some of the best plants you can add to your garden, big or small, to create an olfactory delight all year round.
It should come as no surprise that lavender is top of the list for strong smelling plants. This easy to grow shrub stays evergreen all the year round meaning whatever the climate or time of year your garden should stay filled with its heady scent.
You can plant it directly into a flowerbed or for smaller plots the lavender plant thrives just as well in a pot. The best thing about lavender is simply the amount of flowers each bush produces. It is best planted in spring and will give you lots of beautiful flowers all throughout the summer. The bright purple colour is distinctive and contrasts beautifully with the grey foliage.
Well known for its calming properties, lavender has been sold for years as an essential oil or even just crushed and put into muslin for room fresheners.
Another versatile, and low maintenance, plant is mint. It gives off a beautiful smell while being cheap to buy and easy to grow in almost any soils.
Be warned: mint will spread like wildfire! Try to plant it in a confined area like a raised flowerbed or, better still, keep it in a pot. You can buy mint as young plants and pot them in the spring, making sure they are in full flow by the time the heat of the summer is upon you.
Many types of mint plant are used for tea, chopped up and added into food or to create a classic mint sauce. If you are planning to grow mint to flavour your dishes, make sure you get the right species as there are some that can’t be eaten.
Although most citrus fruit plants need warm weather to thrive, there are several varieties than are easier to grow. Most popular is lemon while kumquats are the most cold tolerant. Flowers on a citrus plant give off a strong fragrance and as the fruit appears around the same time as the flowers these plants can be one of the most scented.
A good way to grow citrus plants in a colder climate is by using a small greenhouse. This will shelter the plant from the elements while increasing the overall temperature in the growing area.
Lemons can be used in anything from baking to iced tea and will give you a brilliant harvest of fruit as well as keeping your garden smelling tropical all year around.
With the right soil and fertilizers, you can grow just about anything in your garden! Try these scented plants for starters.