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Fragrance in the Garden

The scents of summer can surround us if we grow plants like these, strategically placed in our garden.

a girl smelling lavender in garden

Photo: Kasia Rutledge

Perennials include many dianthus, such as the pink Dianthus "Doris" the Hosta "Honeybells" and lavender.

Different gardeners, of course, have different sensory images of what they want to experience in their gardens. One person may wish for an oasis of tranquility, another may visualize a garden alive with birds and butterflies.

We have very personal priorities for our gardens. Many of us grow plants because of associations they hold with people or events from our past. For example, we may remember plants our grandmother grew or the flowers we carried at our wedding and wish to have them in our gardens.

Sweet Scents

Scented plants can also evoke memories. Some annuals with good scents are sweet alyssum, the large flowering tobacco “Nicotiana Sylvestris”, the Regal Lily, which flaunts clusters of trumpet-shaped white flowers, and velvety purple heliotrope. Perennials include many dianthus, such as the pink Dianthus “Doris” the Hosta “Honeybells” and lavender.

The scent of lavender is unforgettable, and the Romans used its leaves and flowers to scent their bath water. It is thought to soothe tired muscles. Lemon Verbena, a slender stemmed bush, has delicious lemon – scented leaves. Moonflower is an annual vine with sweet smelling white flowers that open in the evening. The scents of summer can surround us if we grow plants like these, strategically placed in our garden.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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  • cynthia

    hello Moya:

    I wanted to ask if you have any suggestion on how to tie the flowers to a round oasis (sphere) that will be hanging from the middle of a gazebo at a wedding. I am covering the sphere with carnations, which are hardy and colorful (red,hot pink and pink) this is valentines day wedding. Ive tried to pin them with pearl head pins which I thought would give it a nice touch, but they don’s seem to hold, and come right out very easily.
    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Cynthia

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