Saturday, December 29, 2018

The FragranT Garden

Gardening is an ancient pastime and profession. Maybe not the oldest profession but people have been growing their own flowers, herbs, trees, shrubs and vegetables for thousands of years.
Successful gardening does require skill and knowledge. Fortunately, this knowledge is readily available from a wide variety of sources. From the local library, to the local plant nursery, to the Internet, the new or long-time gardeners has a wealth of information available.
This week, rather than focusing on specific flowers or vegetables, I will explore the fragrant garden. The only reason a garden does not appeal to all the sense is bad design.
The garden can, not only stimulate the eyes and the mind, it can bring a wealth of delights to that often-neglected organ, the nose.
There are a number of plants that can enhance a garden not only with their physical beauty but with a fragrance that capture our attention.  An evening stroll through the garden will be enhanced by the gentle but heady aroma.
The first step is to consider the physical site, how much sunlight is available; how much shade?
The second is to consider your time; how many hours per day or week do you have to spend in the garden? Be honest. You do not want to have a garden that you cannot look after. It is better to place one pot of basil near the kitchen door where you can reach it and enjoy its spicy aroma when you touch it than to put in a ten-foot bed that you cannot tend.
Next you need to consider what special needs that the garden will have to meet. As we age, often our physical agility decreases. This does not mean we give up gardening. The garden can be adapted to meet our needs.
 Problems in bending or kneeling down then raised beds, flower boxes or containers on a table top may be best.
If you have problems with your vision, perhaps, placing your beds along a well-defined pathway that is easy to navigate will make it easier for you to cut flowers for your table. Keep the beds narrow so that you can readily reach to back without stepping into the garden.
Do an internet search for fragrant plants suited for your gardening zone. Take a visit to a local plant nursery and ask them.
Do you have any fragrant plants? Take a list of what you already have with you so the person assisting you will know what is already growing in your garden.
Fragrance is a very strong sense and can bring back many memories; it can also help you develop memories of the present that you can recall on a cold winter night when you are enjoying some rosehip jam or a cup of mint tea.
An important note, if you plant to grow mint do so in a container, mint loves to take over and will spread quickly but the container will help you keep in under control.
Locally, lilacs are a great choice for both beauty and fragrance

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