Picking the Most Aromatic Plants for Your Landscape Garden Design
One of the ways of making your garden distinctive is to plant with aromas in mind. Compass Garden and Landscape Design have many years of experience in planting design in the south west of England – so here are our top tips to ensure your outdoor space smells good all year round.
Plant for the Seasons
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to grow just one type of plant, as you will only see the benefits at certain times of the year; ideally you should be looking to space out your seasons. So for spring, think about planting snowdrops, crocuses and hyacinths.
For summer fragrances, consider growing sweet peas (pictured), lavender, gardenia, and – for the longer term – some rhododendrons. And in winter, you may be able to plant some evergreens, as well as hardy honeysuckle and Mahonia Japonica. The latter is rather like Lily of the Valley, except the flowers are yellow rather than white.
It’s not just during the day that you can enjoy sweet smelling blooms in your garden – why not try some night-scented plants? These have evolved to attract nocturnal pollinators (most have white or light petals to reflect the moonlight and make it easier for the pollinators to spot) and some flower at night.
Often these types of plants like warm, sheltered areas of the garden – so put them on the patio or courtyard; they can be perfect if you want to do some alfresco entertaining in the evening. Some species of flowers have night-scented varieties, such as phlox, stock and primrose. You will have the added benefit of knowing you will be helping your garden’s eco-system.
They Don’t Have to Be Flowers
An aromatic garden design doesn’t have to be just ornamental – it can be practical too. Remember fruit trees have a distinctive smell too, particularly when the fruit is ripe (this particularly applies to apple and pear trees).
And herbs not only help with cooking, but they have a distinctive aroma all of their own. Consider growing sage, rosemary and thyme – these are all relatively low maintenance and can be planted in the most unpromising of soils.
One growing tip is to ensure that your herbs are at the ends of beds as often these only release their scent through contact so you should feel their full aroma as you brush past them. And there’s an added bonus as many herbs deter pests.
Space-Savers Work Too
Honeysuckle, jasmine, roses and other trailing plants are among the sweetest smelling of flowers. This is particularly useful if space is at a premium in your landscape garden, or if you want to disguise or hide an unattractive surface.
Remember the trailers may need to be ‘trained’ to grow upwards or in the direction you want them to go, so you will need a support structure in place. Trellises (rather than solid fences) are particularly useful here.
Don’t Plant Them Too Close Together
One tip is to make sure that you don’t try to grow your blooms (or trees and shrubs) too close together. If you do, they will be competing for the same soil nutrients, potentially inhibiting their growth. One plant’s aroma may also drown out another’s; or you could simply have too many competing scents. This may be something you want to avoid, particularly if you are dining out in your garden.
It also makes sense, from an aesthetic perspective, to position your aromatic flowers around a feature or a seating area. However, be wary of doing this if anyone in the family (or any visitors) has any allergies.
Planting Design in the South West with Compass Garden and Landscape Design
At Compass, we can help advise you on the best plants for your garden (whether you are having it landscaped or not) and which will work best in its climate and overall shape, We can not only buy them for you (often at a more competitive price than you will be able to yourself) but also plant them as well.
Planting schemes work better when considered as part of an overarching landscape project. We offer a landscape garden design service in Frome, Bristol and across the south west. For more information about this as well as our planting consultancy service, follow this link and complete the online form or call us on 07920 051549.