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Is your garden stimulating all your senses? Like many people, I’m sure, the main driving factors behind my choice of plants are colour, size and shape. In other words, I’m most interested in what they look like. Nothing wrong with that. I want my garden to look good, and for neighbouring plants to complement one another.
Walking through my garden this week I was struck by its freshness following a shower. Doesn’t rain transform the colour and vigour of plants in a way simply watering by hand never can? Rather than just stimulating my visual sense I was breathing in the scents and smells of my garden, and discovering another world that I so often ignore.
Some of this is simply the unique smell of gardening – of mown grass, soil, weeds as they’re plucked from the ground, and so on.
Then there are those plants given more than just colour, shape and attractive habit by their maker. They’re supercharged with scent, taking them into another dimension. Nature doesn’t do anything without a reason, so fragrance must be essential to the survival of these plants, attracting pollinating insects, for instance.
One of most fragrant garden plants is the evergreen shrub, choisya, the Mexican orange blossom. Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ is one of my favourites, with a strong, powerful, fragrance that fills the surrounding air. It’s also nice having pure white flowers at this time of year to ring the changes from an abundance of yellow.
Standing by my choisya and savouring its scent I’m struck by how much I’m enjoying it, and how little thought I’ve been giving my sense of smell in my garden. Now I need everyones’ help to choose scents for every season… I’ll start keeping a list of the best fragrant plants for gardens. Suggestions welcome!
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