The Scented Garden by Anthony Powell

Anthony began by discussing what scent really is for. It is an aroma given off to attract pollinators to a plant.  Some flowers smell, but also some roots do. Crushing underfoot can release the scent of a plant.

The sense of smell varies with different people. We each interpret smells in different ways.

Anthony asked for two volunteers to come from the audience. Both were asked to shut their eyes.  He held different blooms under their noses and asked them to describe the smell, not identify the source. It was interesting to hear how each person interpreted the smells.

He used a wisteria bloom first, then a mauve Lilac and then a peeled banana!

Scent evokes memories, and we remember places where we smelt them, and people we associate with that scent.

Using scented plants in a garden.

 It is good to put fragrant plants in a small garden, a pot of Jasmine is a good choice. Use honeysuckle as a hedge or Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera Halliana which has intensely fragrant flowers.

Woodland gardens can have carpets of snowdrops (he mentioned Welford Park Gardens) or bluebells. Both have a wonderful scent wafting over the blooms especially in the evenings when it may be the moisture that releases it. Some plants release their scent when you are a short distance from them.

Where to plant scented plants.

In a garden put them along routes of passage so you smell them as you pass from one part of the garden to another. Over an archway or on a pergola, sweet peas, roses or wisteria are good here.

Low growing fragrant shrubs are good on or beside paths.

You can put fragrant shrubs in pots so you can move the scent through the garden eg Pelargoniums, Lilies, Nemesia (Wisley Vanilla) and Hosta Grandiflora (So Sweet and Honey Bells).

We then were given a list of fragrant plants to use throughout the year in chronological order from Spring to late Autumn

Pansies. Lonicera fragrantissima.  Sarcocca Confusa. Witch Hazel. Daphne. Hyacinths (in the soil). Narcissi. Clematis Armandii. Cherry Blossoms. Viburnum Juddii. Skimmia.  Lily of the Valley. Gorse. Crown Imperials. Robes. Lilac (or Persian Lilac which is smaller).

Azelias. Philadelphus Coronorarius ( Mock Orange). Aqueliga Fragrans. Dianthus. 

Petunia Surfina. White Allysum. Antirrhinum, some are now scented. Tagetes. Lavender. Roses.

Trachelospernum jasminoides. Budddlea. Aberia Grandiflora. Eleagnus Ebbingei. Clematis.

Katsura tree, (the Autumn falling leaves are scented). Mahonia Japonica. Acacia Mimosa.