Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Scent, scent and more scent


It has to be said, that at this time of year, there is nothing like the scent of plants in the garden. We're treated with all sorts, a veritable feast of scents, from our native honeysuckle to the annual sweet pea to the scent foliage of herbs such as lavender, mint or my favorite for this time of year, cottage style roses. It is such an escape to lose yourself, after a hard day at the office (or home, or travelling, or factory, etc.), to wander around the garden enjoying the smells and aroma of the garden. Some of the scented plants in my garden include roses, lavender, jasmine, sweet pea, salvia, mint, bay leaf, fennel, wisteria, witch hazel and the butterfly bush, buddleia, to name just a few.

Now I know it would be a bit naive of me to say that gardens should just be for scented plants (although this is a stance I have debated from on more than one occasion!), but I would say that a considerable effort should be put into ensuring that at least some plants with scent are planted, no matter how big or small your plot. Luckily I have a nice size average semi-d garden, which allows me plenty of room to have plants growing both in the garden and in pots. I've made a very conscious effort to have scent and smell, (I'll blog about some of the other senses again) woven into my plans. Over the years I've grown, and sometimes subsequently lost, lots of variety, from friends giving me scented geraniums, to the propagation of the usual, to the acquisition of the more unusual.

There is great debate among gardening friends and kin as to what is the best or worst scented plants. For example, I'll always remember Fred, from the Malahide Nurseries years, declaring that Moroccan mint (Mentha spicata) is the best scented mint, and he would not tolerate any discussion on the subject. At the time, I could neither agree nor disagree, as I didn't know how scented it was, until he grew a batch of them and then.... ah, I understood. Even now, Google 'Moroccan mint', and among the first number of links to pop up, you'll come across lines such as '[Moroccan mint] is the finest mint for making mint tea'.
 
Now, I'm off to enjoy some lovely fresh strawberries and some newly made strawberry jam, both kindly donated by my brother Simon.