I love aromatic plants. What’s an aromatic plant? Well, I think of it as a plant you have to do something to in order for it to release its aroma. So you have to crush the leaves or stems or possibly even tread on it, in order to appreciate its unique fragrance. This is in contrast to scented plants, usually with scented flowers – roses, jasmine or sweet peas for instance – that release their scent into the air without any input from humans. But an aromatic plant makes you work that little bit harder – you have to get up close and personal and engage with the plant in order to appreciate the scent it has to offer, unless you’re in a very sunny climate in which case the sun will draw the aromatic oils from the plant.
Some aromatics like lavender, are fairly widely known, as well as widely grown, and when you encounter them in a garden setting you almost instinctively crush a leaf or two in between your fingers to appreciate the heady perfume released. There are lots of others that are worthy of a place in the garden and can make your journey round your plot that little bit sweeter. Here are some of my favourites:
Chamomile “Treneague” – not to be confused with flowering chamomile, (used to make chamomile tea ), this cultivar doesn’t flower. It’s very low growing and spreads naturally
Caryopteris - the flowers are a heavenly blue and the foliage is aromatic
when planted in gaps in paving, releasing a beautifully sweet scent when you step on it. One that delights visitors to this garden!
Rosemary – all varieties are marvellously aromatic and it’s a great evergreen addition to the garden in winter. Where space is limited the prostrate variety, Rosmarinus officinalis “Prostratus” is a good choice.
Caryopteris x clandonensis “Heavenly Blue” – a smallish deciduous shrub with late summer flowers just like it says on the tin! Prefers well drained soil and full sun if you have it.
Aromatic plants like lavender are a must in a sensory garden
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