Scent, structure and style…must haves in the garden!  Plan a scent scheme dream…your garden can easily be a place filled with fragrance wafting through the air from dawn to dusk. Scent evokes intense emotions and response, especially when associated with a special memory of a place, a person or an event. I still remember how lovely my grandmother smelled when she hugged me…it was Yardley in those days…lavender scented soap, ‘toilet’ water and fresh powder…

Smell is considered to be the first of our senses to develop…we all react to those scent memories first learned as babies.

An inviting entry path filled with lavender and roses while fragrant phlox and Annabelle hydrangeas intrigue and tease the senses all summer. Cedar structure holds climbing roses…adding a vertical element to the mix.

Perennials, herbs, shrubs, vines, bulbs and of course, old roses all have fragrant members of their group! Let your nose be your guide while choosing what you want as part of your scent scheme…here are just a very few, easily grown and cared for almost anywhere.

Perennials: phlox, lilies, peonies, iris, daisies, coneflowers, dianthus, verbena

Herbs: rosemary, lavender, thyme, pineapple sage, lemon verbena, mints, patchouli

Shrubs: lilac, butterfly bushes, mock orange, viburnum, gardenia, hydrangeas

Vines: jasmine, honeysuckle, sweet autumn clematis and others, wisteria, chocolate vine

Bulbs: daffodils, hyacinths, Oriental lilies, acidanthera, tuberose, lily of the valley

A tip for extending phlox blooms…leave some of the flower stems long, cut some back by 1/2 and some by 1/3…this group of 3 variables will promote longer flowering as well as a variety of heights.

lav walk

Make an entrance, my dream scheme entry path to the house...lavender spills over the gravel, rosemary behind and climbing roses against the wall. Of course, the wall and the gate add structure and interest while inviting you into the home. As you approach, the garden beckons, making you feel as if you’re being let in on a well-kept secret. The dream idea is there and can easily be adapted to your site…a cedar, iron or white picket fence could also create the perfect atmosphere for your garden…from rustic to refined as shown below…

Fresh herbs, intensely aromatic, are an essential ingredient in the garden as well as obvious necessities for all types of cooking…and plant-powered medicine. I really cannot imagine having or designing a garden without herbs! From years ago, I remember summertime meals at grandmother’s, eaten outside on a huge table covered with oilcloth, sitting on the swept yard under gigantic old oak and sycamore trees. The food laden table held the scent of rosemary and pepper on tiny new potatoes, fresh basil chopped on huge slices of just picked tomatoes, sweet corn-on-the-cob dripping with newly churned butter and sprinkled with parsley, lemon verbena on strawberries and just cranked vanilla ice cream…all creating vibrant flavors, tastes and memories never forgotten.


Elderflower…shown above by my creek bed at the edge of the woods…is a plant from Mother Nature’s healing wildflowers. The wonder of elderlower, those frothy white blooms, appear in early summer standing tall along side creeks, country road ditches, flourishing at the edge of shady moist woodlands…is astounding. Both their blooms and berries, used for tea or tincture, offer therapeutic qualities as an anti-inflammatory and colds and sinus treatment, are also rich in Vitamin C and many other medicinal benefits.  The sweetly scented creamy white flowers are used to easily make a refreshing drink as well as a cordial. The lovely bottle of St. Germain shown is a French elderflower cordial with a hint of citrus that adds a bit of additional zip to a glass of white wine or sparkly Prosecco!

NOTE: ONLY the flowerheads and berries are usable!

My garden has gotten so thick that the plants cross over much of the paths…I just plunge on through along the meandering walkways stirring fragrance into the air.


Along the way I keep several of my antique galvanized watering cans, full of water, for any plant emergencies I might find on my walk. The walkways and gravel paths through my garden link the areas of different planting schemes offering glimpses of eye-catching accents, sculpture, benches and vine-covered trellises.

bluedoorSimply defined, a garden is a place where plants live…the gardener here has created a garden that surrounds you in delightful fragrance and color for most of the year…the result of a planned dream scheme!


                              The chicks are out playing and pooping in the RAIN!!

So it is time to go out to their pen to clean and add fresh alfalfa and pine shavings…

Till next time, dear friends, from Holly and me…Happy Gardening!



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