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  • Bart Gannon

A Fragrant Garden

The earliest scented gardens were built in the courtyards of Persian houses over 2,000 years ago, but the understood heyday of the scented garden was during the reign of Elizabeth I, when the public took pleasure in sweetly aromatic cuisine, rooms and dress.

That was ridiculously too long ago! With all the craziness these days, a soothing fragrant garden/terrace is just what the doctor ordered. In an average day, we breathe 23,000 times and more than a few of these breaths should be calming.

Pinch, step on, inhale, walk thru - like what my wife does with her perfume, she sprays it and then walks thru the fragrant mist. We need to walk thru our ‘fragrant mists.’ A few things to keep in mind: most scented/fragrant plants need some sun, so find places that have a southwestern exposure. Try to provide an enclosed space, so the wind doesn’t wisk away the aromas with the wind! The word ‘arbor’ comes from ‘herber,’ a place where fragrant plants were grown. An arbor, a fence or a stone wall would all act as a windbreak and an excellent backdrop for flowering trees and shrubs.

Don’t forget citrus and herbs in containers. I just LOVE the scented geraniums. The peppermints, rose and orange ones, not much in the way of color, but who cares! Another ‘must have’ is lemon verbena – what? You don’t know this one? – you haven’t lived till you’ve pinched this pungent sucker! Oh, can’t forget pineapple sage. Plants don’t need to bloom to be fragrant. Find cool old mossy terracotta as your containers. We have plenty in the nursery, come see!

So there you go - fat juicy mixed containers of scented geraniums with Lemon Verbena and Pineapple Sage, next to pots of Meyer’s lemon, Star Jasmine & Calamonium Orange. Be sure you’ve got three to five topiaries, too. Different heights of Rosemary, Sweet Myrtle, lemon scented geranium and Austrian mint. Austrian mint is another one of my favorites. Its rich fragrance reminds me of when I was little and had a cold, my mom would spread Vic’s vap-o-rub on my chest to breathe easier - I swear it’s made of Austrian mint. An added bonus is it’s PROLIFIC purple/blue bloom in early spring, magnificent.

Create an aromatic showcase starting on your patio, moving right out into the landscape.

#DIYprojects #constructionprojects

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