Have you ever taken a walk through the forest taking in the sights, when you realize that the scents are as powerful an impact at the visual? As you hike the trails or walk the path, the piney scent that is crushed underfoot or the cedar you brushed against in a narrowing of the trail infuses the senses and makes a memory. The brushy sages that keep their perfume a secret until you pinch a leaf or break a branch in passing only adds to the discovery of your visual journey.
Trees, shrubs, grasses, herbs, flowers all speak to us with beauty, while some speak with “scents”. They actually wake our sleeping sensory emotions and in doing so, plant or solicit a memory. Plants can have a scent that pushes us away, or lifts us up, takes us back, or compels us. Essential oils can calm, revive, make you more alert, or clear your sinuses. They have power in their fragrance, as do the plants they are derived from. That is why your aromatic garden will be unique to you since fragrances affect your mood and can convey an array of emotions. Scientifically, our olfactory receptors are directly connected to the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of our brain, the virtual seat of emotion.
It will be your scratch and sniff place that brings you peace, joy and contentment. It will be very personally pleasing with all your favorite fragrances that charge your battery, calm your nerves, or solicit memories.
Planning this garden will be a journey of its own. When you explore nurseries, forests, gardens, you will need to take notes of what pleases your senses. It can be a rose, or rosemary…it can be cedar or bay leaves, lemony or sweet, savory, minty, or fruity. The possibilities are endless.
You can start by defining a space in your garden, or inter-mingling your aromatics with other plantings. It’s all up to you. Begin with intention … as you create your unique space, perhaps leaving a room for a seat or two. It can lead to a lifetime adventure of discovery that feeds your soul and speaks to your heart.
I’ve listed a few plants that can get you started, but they are merely suggestions. I hope this “scratch & sniff” experiment brings you joy!
Till our next time together…
The Aromatic Garden Suggestion List
Pink Jasmine vine
Plectrantus amboinicus (Cuban Oregano)