Does Your Garden Make “Scents”

I love a beautiful garden, don’t you? There are many elements that go into creating a lovely landscape. Today, I thought I’d mention an element I especially like…SCENT. I’ve noticed that when I am out shopping for lotions, shampoo, body splash, or shower gel, there seem to be more and more with botanical names and ingredients. Wouldn’t it be nice to have those same fragrances in your garden or landscape?

Two of my favorite aesthetically pleasing scents would be lavender and rose. Both easily incorporated into your outdoor living space….and easily available to cut and bring indoors as well. There are many herbs, such a Lemon Verbena that have a wonderful scent. When you brush up against it, or crush a few leaves it releases the most fresh, lemony fragrance.

We have a few orange trees, and when they are producing blossoms, I find myself opening the windows in order to breathe in their sweet wonderful aroma. Not only do we get tasty, juicy oranges, but their blossoms add a wonderful scent to our home landscape.

I find that gardening with aromatic herbs can be nice too! They add a refreshing touch tucked into your landscape. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil can be intermingled with perennials. Rosemary becomes a large usable shrub for cooking, while the smaller herbs make sweet borders along walkways or in front of larger flowering perennials or shrubs. The smaller, softer herbs can also be used in bowls, barrels, or pots for herb gardens on a sunny patio giving you your own fresh herbs for cooking.

One of my favorite California natives is Salvia clevelandii. It scent has what I call “Spa” appeal…or more simply, a form of “aroma therapy”. It only blooms in the springtime, but it’s a wonderful addition to your garden with its gray/green foliage and lavender flowers growing up the stems. This is another one that will leave a nice scent as you brush past it. Some pruning will be required.

We have a wonderful little, lush green plant by the name of Plectranthus tomentosa that also has a lovely “Spa” scent. It can be used as a potted specimen or added as a low lush border. Just crush a leaf of its pretty foliage to release its fragrance and apply to your skin. It leaves a lingering softness and wonderful fragrance as well. It might be nice to use after gardening, on your way out for a walk…or before you climb into the car for a busy day.

I hope that I’ve inspired you to inject your garden with some new fragrances, bringing with them a new element of joy to your life. Lavender makes a nice cut that can be hung, by tying its stems with cord or ribbon…or you can just put it in a vase on your desk or bed table. I just read about putting a few stems in a spray bottle of water to scent your sheets! I haven’t tried it yet, but what a wonderful idea!

There are so many natural appealing scents and they come in many forms. Pine or Eucalyptus trees are often enjoyed for the scent they exude, but they add another element of intrigue to the landscape. The spring blooming Jasmine entwined through a fence will leave a lovely scent in the breeze, and I’m sure you have a few favorites of your own… or some you will discover as you begin to identify favorites for your own outdoor space. You may even want to search the web for suggestions on fragrance for the garden…or, the next time you visit a garden or nursery, just follow your nose.