This old adage boasts volumes to the avid gardener and hopefully can serve as a healing activity for anyone today. Our fast paced/get it done yesterday culture of instant technology vanishes when standing in a well designed garden that offers opportunities to pause, reflect and enjoy a little slice of heaven on earth. Now more than ever we need garden spaces to remind us of our own personal value, respect for life in general and our bodies critical need for rest and rejuvenation.
The element of fragrance in a garden only adds to the visual experience providing wonderful memories through the heightened sense of smell. The popularity of fragrance and essential oils in holistic approaches throughout the retail market today confirms the powerful impact of fragrance.
So how to infuse this entity into your garden designs? First and foremost Plan and consider placement of the fragrant plant. Look @ the living space and decide where you might position plants with fragrance in close proximity. Although breezes will help…you want your plants of fragrance where you can enjoy. So place in close proximity to the garden pathway or nearby the seating/entertainment areas.
Plan for a “season” of fragrance. Sustain this valuable element throughout your growing season with specific selection. Perennials such as magnolia, lilac and peonies can provide an early season experience. I am a big fan of lilac. The common lilac can produce profuse bloom and fragrance. While the Korean lilac can offer gardeners a spicy twist on the lilac fragrance. My absolute favorite magnolia is the stargazer. Yet the Anna magnolia has the potential for a second bloom during the season. Terrific aroma is carried over the breezes.
Mid summer consider lemon balm, thyme, lavender, shrub roses and star gazer lilies. I qualify :shrub” roses….particularly the knock out variety…as they provide an abundance of blooms from summer through fall! Certainly tea/hybrid roses are known for their incredible fragrance. Although the new Mary Low Whitney Rose has an incredible fragrance, blooms are lmited in numbers with a shorter period of bloom. And don’t forget to cut the lavendar sprigs and dry for wonderful gifts and accents that will sustain throughout the winter.
Late summer/early fall you might enjoy tall phlox, hydrangea, summer sweet, and Russian Sage. My favorite hydrangea is the Tardiva variety, as it carries a strong scent. Russian sage is a great addition to the back border of the garden and offers wonderful fragrance when the wind blows. Check out the National Museum of Dance entry gardens for an example of the Russian Sage in a back border element.
So you can create your very own “essential” fragrances in your garden all season with care in planning, placement and selection….giving you your very own opportunity to “Stop and Smell the Roses”!