Tag Archives | Fragrance and Scent

Sensual garden including aromas, and taste

Stonking Stinking Plants

Stinkers are not the sort of plants you want to grow in a normal garden. So here are a few to avoid unless your adenoids stop you getting even the faintest whiff.
Lysimachia punctata

Proper Stinkers

  • Stinking Hellebore gives off the smell of rotting meat to earn the Latin name Helleborus foetidis and warn us that the plant is poisonous. It’s flowers native are beautiful but the whole plant niffs.
  • Stinking Henbane or Hyoscyamus niger has a sickly evil smell that Culpepper says’ the whole plant hath a very ill soderiferous smell’.
  • Stinking Meadow rue has a sticky covering on its leaves that also smell like dead fish
  • Stinkhorn fungus has putrid, spore-laden, phallus-like fruiting bodies that appear almost overnight and to many people it is ‘Top of the Pongs’.
  • Carnivorous plants attract flesh and fecal-loving insects to visit their stinking blossoms but they won’t attract me.
  • The Skunk Cabbage takes some beating as you may expect with a name like that aka Lysimachia punctata

All this without farmyard smells, rotting vegetation, over wet sour compost, garlic breath in the wrong place, animal waste, the list of pet hates is endless. Thankfully there are even more good smelling plants than bad so just watch how you sniff

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    Top Ten Flowers and Fragrance

    It has been difficult to finalise a list of the top 10 fragrant plants. So I have elected to chose my ten favourite flowers with a selected variety. I have cheated by including two roses but could easily have 10 or 100 roses in a list.
    Scented Peony
    Your personal choice will vary based on your own appreciation of scent. The result from flowers will depend on the location, culture and selections you make.

    1. Philadelphus lemoinei ‘innocence’ Mock Orange single creamy white flowers
    2. Hyacynth ‘Bismark’ porcelain blue
    3. Wisteria sinensis the white form if you can find it
    4. Honeysuckle Lonicera americanum with masses of rich spicy flowers
    5. Regal Lily lilium regale
    6. Datura inoxia another white form needing some protection
    7. Dianthus barbatus Sweet Wlliam Dobies ‘All Double’
    8. Old garden Gallica rose ‘Charles de Mills’ raspberry coloured.
    9. Climbing Rose ‘Guinee’
    10. Freesia ‘Gold Coast’, ‘Treasure’ or ‘White Giant’

    Continue Reading →

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    Sensual Scented Tulips

    Fringed tulip

    You do not always associate Tulips with fragrance but here is a selection that may be worth trying.

    Tulips do not need to be planted until November but if you want specific varieties it may be worth getting your order in sooner rather than later.Now is the time to check what is flowering well in your area and select you favourites. I have receive  bulb catalogues in July and the newspaper had a special offer this morning on lily flowers tulips. If you can’t get to a specialist nursery try mail order as your bulbs will be supplied at the right time and in good condition.

    Scented Botanical or Species Tulips

    • T. aucheriana rich sweet flowers open flat
    • T. celsiana Persian tulip June blooms delicious scent
    • T. gesneriana scarlet flowers sweetly scented
    • T. primulina primrose yellow flowers smelling of lily of the valley
    • T. saxatillis lilac flowers with primrose scent
    • T. suaveolensscarlet scented blooms
    • T. sylvestris Lemon-yellow with sweet perfume
    • T .fragrans pronounced scent as you would expect with a name like that

    Fringed tulip

    Other Fragrant Tulips worth Considering

    Double tulips which can be planted in pots or near a door :

    • Marquette
    • Mme Testout
    • Murillo
    • Schoonoord
    • Tea rose

    Peonie flowered Sensual Scented Tulips

    • Angelique a white tinged pink
    • Upstar series
    • Orange Princess
    • Yellow Mountain

    Lily flowered and Parrot Tulips

    • Ballerina yellow flowered
    • Ellen Willmott
    • La Merveille
    • Black Parrot
    • Orange Favourite
    • Prince of Orange
    • Demeter Victory Late flowering White

    Read about the Reasons & Varieties of Tulips to order

    Here is a selection of sensual scented Cut Flower Tulip varieties

    For the visual senses try Green Tulips

    Parrot Tulips

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    Mahonia the Attractive Spiky Shrub

    Scented winter blossom attractive to early bees. Dark berries attractive to birds and sharp prickles unattractive to trespassers are just three of the reasons to grow Mahonia.

    Flowering early this year this spiky shrub is renown for its winter blossom. On a still winters day the yellow flowers give off a delicate scent.

    What You need to know about Mahonia

    • Growing to around 4 foot these evergreen shrubs give all year around interest.
    • I grow mine in an acid soil with Rhododendrons but they seem happy in all soils.
    • The spiky leaves make them a deterrent to intruders when planted in a mixed hedge
    • There are several varieties so try see your purchase in bloom.
    • The stems do not have spines but the leaves make up for this.
    • After flowering there are black berries loved by our local birds.

    Mahonia leaves
    see Early blossom on shrubs

    Mahonia

    Names and Named Varieties

    Mahonia Japonica and Mahonia aquifolium are species to watchout for.
    Mahonia nervosa is a low growing species, Creeping Oregon grape is called Mahonia repens.
    The berries give rise to the name ‘Oregon Grape’ for the Mahonia
    Mahonia Oregan Grape

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    Tips for Growing Sweet Violets – Viola odorata

    A century ago Sweet Violets were part of the Victorian way of life. Florists and street vendors sold them and ladies carried or wore them. Since ancient Greek times and through medieval times Sweet Violets were more than a flower or scent, they were used as a sweetener, a deodorant and medicinal uses. They were also a symbol of love used on St Valentines day and there are many Violet stories surrounding Napoleon and Josephine where the flowers are still popular in France.

    Gardeners Tips For Growing Sweet Violets

    • Grow from seed or propagate from the stolens (runners)
    • Sweet Violets like a moist soil.
    • Feed them with a high potash feed or low nitrogen feed to optimise the flowers.
    • Violas are very easy to grow and tolerate of most soil types.
    • Viola odorata are perfect for partial shade and once established multiply quickly.

    Recognising Sweet Violets – Viola odorata

    • Viola odorata is a perennial that spreads by runners and grows about 4″ high.
    • In the wild they grow in light woodland or under a hedge row in a humus rich soil.
    • The scented flowers are available in white as well as the deep violet.
    • Viola odorata has short spurred flowers that are very fragrant and a dark – purpleish blue colour.
    • The leaves are rounded, almost heart shaped with crinkled edges.

    Viola odorata var. subcarnea
    Also available in Pink is the viola odorata subcarnea.

    Other Links for Viola odorata

    Read about Growing Dogs Tooth Violets
    For other fragrant and scented plants read Gardeners Tips
    Look at the Violet Group on Flickr

    Viola varieties available from Thompson & Morgan

    Credits
    Sweet Violet by Strobilomyces cc
    Viola odorata var. subcarnea by –Tico– CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Maarts Viooltje by hans zwitzer CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Maarts Viooltje

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    Growing Hesperis matronalis Alba

    Hesperis matronalis Alba

    Hesperis is a hardy biennial that flowers in blue, purple or white. It is easy to grow from seed and flowers through summer.

    • The main charm is the scent that you get in an evening from the masses of 18″-36″ high plants.
    • Ideal for the middle of borders, Cottage Gardens, Wild Gardens or a Wildlife Garden.
    • Charming large spikes of single flowers attract hoverflies and insects.

    Sowing and Growing Instructions

    • Optimum Germination Temperature: 60-65F (15-18C).
    • Sowing Depth: 1/8 Inch (3 mm).
    • Sow in late spring/early summer  thin out or  plant out in their flowering positions in early autumn.
    • Space the plants 30cm (12in) apart in full sun or part shade.
    • Plants self-sow freely in good soil.

    Seeds are available to plant now from Thompson Morgan

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    Top Ten Old Roses

    Repeat flowering old Rose varieties do what it says in their name whilst the first 5 in my Top Ten only flower once per year but still inspire.

    Old Rose Top Ten

    1. Celsiaha  this Damask rose is strong and vigourous with good clusters of large, lasting, pale pink flowers.
    2. Enfant de France is a compact gallica rose with sweet scented, double flowers in a silvery pink with quilled petals.
    3. Rosa gallica Versicolour or Rosa mundi is a 16th Century semi double variety with candy striped red and white flowers.
    4. Mme Hardy is a pure white rose opening from a slightly pink bud on a shrub up to 6 feet tall. It is disease resistant and good in an organic garden.
    5. Mme Sancy de Parabere is a thornless climber. Early flowering yet hardy plant with double, saucer-shaped flowers and ragged petals of deep lavender pink.
    6. John Hooper is a strong scented pink hybrid with perpetual flowering.
    7. Gloire Lyonnaise Semi-double creamy white blooms on a very erect shrub. Virtually thornless shrub that withstands wet weather better than most.
    8. Captain Hayward has light crimson, shapely, double flowers with excellent orange hips.
    9. Paul Neyron has large 6″ flowers in a deep shade of pink.
    10. Souvenier du Doctor Jamain has medium-sized flowers of the richest maroon colouring, opening flat. Grows 6ft. tall x 3ft. wide.

    Classes of Old Roses

    The Gallicas are probably the oldest of all garden roses forming short bushy shrubs, many of which are quite suitable for small gardens. They were grown by the Greeks and Romans then bred in 17th century by the Dutch and French.
    Among them are some very fine roses with magnificent mixtures of colour particularly among the crimson, purple and mauve shades. They have beautiful flower formation with open upright blossom which shows the yellow stamens
    All of the Gallicas are once blooming and most have very good fragrances. ‘Tuscany’ variety is an almost black purple may be the oldest surviving Gallica from pre 1596.

    Damask roses are another very old group, said to have originally been brought from the Middle East by the Crusaders. Continue Reading →

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