scented flowers

Scented flowers in a garden add nostalgic value. For most people the sense of smell is very strong. I open an old book and instantly transported me to another time in my life. My first perfume takes me back to my teenage bedroom. For me garden smells are the same. The heady mix of sweet peas and mint remind me very much of my grandmother’s garden. Roses, geraniums and lavender remind me of my parents garden. There is actually a science to do with our noses sniffing out nostalgia. When we smell with our nose it travels through the cranial nerve through the olfactory bulb which helps the brain processes smell. This plays a role in the emotional memories, (it’s also where the fight or flight reflexes comes from). Smell can bring back memories, smell goes into the emotional parts of the brain and the memory parts, whereas words go into the thinking part of the brain. This could explain why memories sparked by smell feel nostalgic and emotional rather than concrete and detailed.

The kind of smells that you can find within the garden are varied. The deep musky smell of the rose, the aromatic smell given by lavender and rosemary, the sweet deeply scented smells of jasmine and honeysuckle and of course not forgetting cut grass. I would suggest that wherever possible plant at least one or two flowers that have a heady scent. It will make your garden deliciously nostalgic and stimulate that extra sense.

Try some of the following in your garden:-

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’ (honeysuckle)
Lilium ‘Muscadet’ (oriental lily)
Cosmos atrosanguineus (Cosmos)
Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’ (rose)
Rosa ‘Cornelia’ (rose)
Sarcococca confusa (sweet box)
Lavandula angustifolia ’Hidcote’ (english lavender)
jasminum × stephanense (stephan jasmin)
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)