The Scented GardenPublished on 11th March 2017
Hoorah! The weekend is here, the skies are blue, the birds are singing, small mammals are giving each other suggestive looks, it can only mean one thing; spring is here at last! Hoorah! It’s time to pull on your wellies, dust off your shovel and head out into the garden.
We love spring, here at Apropos. After the months of rain and cold and dreariness, it does the body good to slide back those Apropfold doors and let the fresh air in. Along with the air come the sounds and scents of the new season; the hush of the breeze, the patter of soft showers, the chirrup of bickering birds (and children!), and the delicate fragrance of flowers.
Although the spring bulbs are very much in bloom already, it’s not too late start sowing your very own scented garden. Here are our top tips for a sumptuously smelly summer!
Sow now – While many annuals need a head start, there are still plenty of scented wonders suitable for sowing in March. Look out for Antirrhinums (snap dragons), Larkspur, Nicotiana Perfume, Stocks, Night-scented Stocks (the moth’s best friend) and Sweet Williams for the butterflies.
Harden off – If you’ve spent weeks tenderly nurturing your hardy annuals don’t waste your work by rushing to plant them out. All seedlings need time to acclimatise, so put them in a cold frame to start with, or bring them back in at night.
Protect your investment – Slugs and other bugs can be a menace, but synthetic chemicals can bring their own problems. Plant collars, beer traps, oven-dried egg shells, hair clippings and coffee grounds all work well at protecting young plants; you just need to remember to reapply regularly.
Shrub it up – Shrubs can be expensive to purchase, but they’re well worth the investment, particularly if you’re not in a hurry and are happy to buy small plants. Buddleia Globosa and Honeysuckle are both sweetly scented, hardy and have a long flowering season. They’re both a fantastic food source for pollinators too.
Climbing high – Our noses are on our faces, which are generally 5-6 feet above the ground, so it makes sense to plant a few climbers. Wisteria Sinensis offers perfect covering for pergolas, trellises and trees, the drooping lilac flowers will add visual and olfactory delight to your garden throughout spring and summer.
Herby does it – Edibles can be scent-ual too. While Lavender is the most commonly chosen herbaceous perennial, don’t forget the other herbs; Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Sage are all relatively easy to grow and make perfect patio pot-fillers.
Enjoy it – Don’t get bogged down with a gardening jobs list, take some time to savour the season, whether admiring your green-fingered handiwork, or relaxing in your Apropos conservatory with some well-deserved wine.
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