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The scented garden


By Staff Writers

Sensual pick-me-UPS

- Chamomile: For real aromatherapy, look for tactile plants that release the fragrance when you touch them. For a soothing and refreshing scent, create a chamomile lawn in miniature: Plant the Treneague variety in a pot by a bench or in between paving slabs.

- Pelargoniums: A selection of stroke-and-sniff, downy-leafed pelargoniums are perfect on a porch, balcony or sunny windowsill. Choose Attar of Roses (smelling of Turkish Delight), Mabel Grey (lemons), odoratissimum (apple) and tomentosum (peppermint).

- Mentha: Plant a mini carpet of Mentha (pictured) requienii in a large pot and run your fingers over the tiny green leaves to release the strong mint and citrus aromas.

The Sweetest sweet peas

- Cupani: One of a summer garden's most distinctive perfumes, old-fashioned sweet pea varieties have heavenly scents.

It may not have the largest blooms or longest stems, but Cupani, the original Sicilian wild sweet pea, has delicate mauve and maroon flowers as well as a perfume that can fill a whole room.

- Matucana: This has intensely shaded maroon and violet flowers (pictured) that add a splash of colour to the garden along with its fragrance.

- Painted Lady: A variety that dates from the 1730s, Painted Lady has charming pink and blush-white flowers. Like other sweet peas, it favours fertile soil and a spot with full sun or part shade.

Piquant perfumes

- Thyme: Create a bouquet garni of aromatic herbs for a piece of the Mediterranean in your own back garden or balcony. There are dozens of varieties, such as the flowering Lilac Time, that yield their scent when rubbed or stepped on.

A few have a double fragrance: Thymus citriodorus (lemon); Fragrantissimus (orange) or herba-barona (caraway).

- Rosemary: In a sunny spot, fragrant rosemary produces masses of flowers. The variety Miss Jessopp's Upright is ideal for borders or pots, or try the creeping Prostratus rosemaries. Their arching habit makes them ideal for cascading over walls.

- Mint: There are many types of mint (pictured) and all are great for cooking and teas. Unlike other herbs, it is a rampant grower that needs to be contained in pots and thrives in the shade.

The great classics

- Regale Lilies: Just one potful of these pink-tinged, white trumpet Regale Lilies (pictured) will fill the air with a sublime scent. Try Star Gazer, too, which have crimson-speckled, pink blooms that face upwards – all the better for enjoying their fragrance.

- Lavender: Given free-draining soil and a place in the sun, lavender will deliver its much-loved fragrance. Two of the best: compact, violet Hidcote for containers, and tall, airy Grosso, which is a softer shade of mauve. The best time to cut lavender for drying is just before the buds open.

- Garden pinks: These are the prettiest flowers to grace a path or pot. Give them a spot in the sun and some gritty soil, then enjoy the distinctive, sweet clove perfume. Also try Gran's Favourite and Mrs Sinkins.

Climbers for A sensational scent

- Jasmine: Cleverly disguise a wall or fence and, at the same time provide a glorious perfume for every corner of the garden with jasmine. Trachelospermum jasminoides, to go by its real name, is evergreen and has pure white flowers (pictured) that smell gorgeous.

- Summer Jasmine: This Jasmine officinale has masses of pink-flushed buds that open to starry white flowers with the most intoxicating scent. Train against a warm wall and thin the stems after flowering.

- Honeysuckle: This beautiful flower is pollinated by moths, which gives away the fact that its fruity scent is most potent in the evenings. Grow the Belgica variety for early flowers, Serotina for late summer and water regularly in hot weather to ensure it does not dry out.

Midsummer Magic

- Sweet Rocket: When the sun goes down, plants that release their fragrance at night will keep up the heady aroma.

Hesperis matronalis "Lilacina Flore Pleno", or double-flowered sweet rocket, fills the night air with a light, sweet scent. Place containers close to the patio or a terrace seat so you can enjoy the scent in the evening.

- Brugmansia: This has long angel-trumpet flowers (pictured) that look fabulous but don't release their perfume until night falls. Avoid the yellow-orange flowers and select white, lemon and apricot.