A Scentsational Garden

A Scentsational Garden

Plants that pack a perfume punch and other gardening whiffs. 

Early summer is a scentsational time in the garden. My roses are out in full bloom and they are perfumed to perfection. And this year they do seem bigger and bolder than usual. Perhaps the weather has been kind. Or maybe the plants are getting established with roots deep into the soil and are repaying me for all that pruning and what-not. But the smell of roses in the still air isn’t the only whiff of delight at the moment. I’ve got my sweet peas doing their stuff too.
 
Sown last autumn the plants are now around five feet tall and packed with bloom. You can also sow in spring for a later flowering period - just sow the things! They are easy if you can keep the slugs away from the tasty shoots and, once they are happy (mine are in containers of Melcourt compost with added John Innes for a bit of oomph and seemingly loving it), they will bloom and bloom. Just nip off the seed pods before they develop to encourage even more floral efforts. Roses, sweet peas and... compost.
 
I’ll be honest, I love the sweet smell of a compost bin in full flow. Particularly first thing in the morning with a top-class brew in my hand. Ideally it will be on the nippy side of cool (that’s the air temperature and not the tea). That way you may even get a glimpse of steam emanating from the bin when you lift the lid to plunge in your garden fork to mix it all around a bit. When you get the whiff, you know that balance of all things green and brown are in perfect harmony. Shredded cardboard mingling with grass cuttings with chopped up flowers with shredded woody stems with fungi and bacteria chomping their way through the whole. Marvellous. Then I have my gloves. 

garden smells

If you’ve been reading the diary you’ll know that I managed to get a splinter the size of a matchstick stuck deep into the previously small gap between my thumb nail and thumb. It taught me two things. The first is that the NHS is fantastic and, second, I should wear gloves when gardening. So now I do. All the time. But after a 12 hour stint in the garden there is a certain odour to my hands. But it’s strangely gratifying. It’s a stink of hard work and graft. It actually smells like vinegar. Strange - perhaps you have the same or I might need to see a specialist. Whatever, I like it. But even with roses, sweet peas, compost and my vinegar hands, there is still one smell I adore in the garden. The soil. 

 
Not just the soil but dry soil after a heavy shower of rain. If you could bottle that perfume it would sell by the million. OK, thousands. Maybe hundreds or even tens. Perhaps five bottles. To be honest, I’ve never known anyone else say they like the earthiness of soil whiffage so it would only be one bottle. To me. To add to the Sarsons I sprinkle of my hands when shoving my schnoz into a bloom of roses and sweet peas after a stirring time at the compost heap.
 
You have to understand I don’t get out a lot. Not a surprise really when I stink like this.