Fragrant roses, aromatic lavender or lemon balm? A fragrance garden composes different smells so that they give a harmonious ensemble. The aromatic variety of plants not only beguiles our noses, but also serves to protect species: butterflies, bees and bumblebees are crazy about fragrant plants.
Fragrance gardens - the most important facts
- In plants, flowers smell just like leaves, bark or wood. Flowers as well as shrubs, herbs and trees fit into a fragrant garden.
- A fragrant garden should include ground cover plants as well as tall shrubs and tendril plants.
- Strong smelling plants should better stand alone.
- There are fragrant plants for sun and shade, for dryness and for wet gardens, for midday and midnight bouquets.
- Be sure to find out which scents you like beforehand.
- If you choose native plants whose smell attracts pollinators, you will enjoy butterflies and bees, even bats, and promote species protection.
Where do I create a fragrance garden?
The essential oils release their fragrances best when it is sunny and windless. That is why dry stone walls or south-facing walls are ideal, because here the stones warmed by the sun strengthen the perfume of the plants. Mint and lemon balm, lavender and climbing roses are ideal in such a location. Tip: If you have little space, you can also use sweet peas. With help, these grow up to the level of the nose.
Aromatic plants - a selection
There are scented trees such as fir, spruce or amber, scented flowers such as roses and violets, complete scented hedges, scented herbs such as thyme and scented shrubs such as lilac. Fragrances exude, for example: anise, wild angelica, angelica, laurel, bitter orange, wormwood, basil, mugwort, woodruff, chamomile, roman chamomile, real Garmander, clove root, boar root, celandine, field mint, water mint, mountain mint, peppermint, sea ivy Red rose, rosemary, dog rose, dog rose, meadowsweet, which smells sweet, sorrel, the lemon-scented clary sage, sand thyme, thyme, lemon thyme, vanilla, honorary price or saffron, miracle flower and ornamental tobacco, gingerbread tree (the leaves smell like gingerbread), magnolia, lilac , Summer lilac, the sweet smelling gold lacquer or wisteria, flame flower, witch hazel with honey scent, chocolate flower or the arabic marigold smelling of ripe banana, lemon balm (the name says it).
The sweet pea grows on racks, hedges and walls. Its delicate flowers smell of vanilla. It is a butterfly bloomer, a relative of the scented nettle and an excellent butterfly plant. The flame flower is also a superstar for moths. It attracts with a gentle pepper scent, which is reminiscent of Christmas. The night violet emits its scents from the purple to white flowers in the evening. The scent is sweet and heavy. Lavender and lemon verbena are also suitable for the balcony and the windowsill. The light green leaves smell like verbena. In the frankincense plant (not to be confused with the frankincense tree), the green-white leaves smell strongly of lemon and keep insects away.
When the white lilac blooms again
When the white lilac blooms again, it fills the air with a sweet fragrance and announces the full spring. Lilac smells intense, large shrubs almost penetrating. The flowers are white, pink, purple or purple, arranged in panicles and bloom from late April to June. Lilac has few requirements, grows excellently and quickly in our latitudes and spreads.
The rose is considered the queen of scents and fine rose oil such as rose water, for example from the Damascus rose, is traded on the markets like gold. You can choose between tens of thousands of varieties. Pay attention to the following: Stuffed roses are useless for insects and do not belong in a natural garden.
In the meantime, the scent of roses is a science in itself and is reminiscent of the different flavors of wine: Some roses smell breathy, others spread, brazenly filling up the room, others just trace. The fragrance itself is sometimes warm, sometimes cool, sometimes elegant, sometimes intoxicating, sometimes herbaceous, sometimes tart or elegant.
Some roses bloom only days after blooming, others in the rain, others in the midday sun, and others are moody. The fragrance of these roses changes and they only smell at a specific location. Find out exactly from your rose gardener.
What should you look out for?
Make sure to plant the fragrance garden on several "floors". Fragrance herbs such as lavender, rosemary or thyme can be found on the floor, for example dog roses at waist level, climbing roses or white jasmine on walls, fences or trellises. For example, the angel's trumpet grows at nose level. It is also smart to place the olfactory plants where you can smell them - on the terrace, near a garden table or pavilion, in a seating area or in a rose arch.
You can even schedule when and where in the garden. Do you work full time and enjoy the mild summer evenings on the Hollywood swing? Then night scents are best. Furthermore, you should lay out the garden in such a way that the waves of fragrance spread during the entire flowering period from April to October - or even beyond.
Fragrance on the terrace and balcony
Are the terraces and balconies the areas where you spend the most time, or the replacement if you don't have a garden? Here you can start with daffodils, hyacinths and rabbit bells at the beginning of the year, for example roses, carnations and mint bloom in summer. Lemon and orange trees are also suitable. Do you have little space? Then you can plant fragrant tendrils like sweet peas.
Fragrances for biodiversity
Plants do not smell to beguile people, but to attract insects. For example, bees love the scent of bluebells, fan flowers, nasturtiums, verbenas, daisies and sunflowers, snapdragons, meadowsweet and lavender.
The scent of plants is mostly due to the essential oils in flowers and leaves. Many flowers only exude at certain times of the day and season. Sage, for example, only smells when bees are on the move, i.e. during the day - the honeysuckle, however, only in the evening when the moths come. Such scents do not have to smell good for people: Some orchids stink of decaying meat to bait flies that feed on them.
Other fragrances are the “language” in which plants talk to other plants and even warn them of pests. These include terpenes. Then again there are scents that attract the enemies of pests. For example, the lima bean attracts predators of the spider mite.
Bring the plant to the nose
Some of the best smelling plants like lavender are ground cover plants. Here's a little trick to bring them up to your nose if you don't want to crawl around the garden on your stomach all the time.
Place the plants in raised pots or even better put up a raised bed. You can use picturesque natural stones as drywall or dead wood, or a slatted frame.
Fragrances in the seasons
Snowball blossoms at the end of April and is one of the first fragrance dispensers alongside the woodruff. In May lilac, meadowsweet and lily of the valley bloom, and in July the summer lilac or butterfly bush. You can plant larger fragrant plants such as lilac bushes with lily of the valley, carnations or lavender.
Roses bloom in summer, depending on the species, starting in June. Shrub and noble roses are often bred especially for fragrance, but also many rambler roses, which tend to bend along rose arches, delight the nose. With rose trellises, trellises or a fence, you can even enjoy climbing roses on the balcony. Mint or lavender bushes go well with roses.
Spices in the fragrance garden
What tastes good often smells good. Many spices, culinary herbs and medicinal plants release their aromas into the air. However, the essential oils often only escape when parts of the plant kink or break off. That's why a thyme carpet is a great idea: You plant thyme or lemon thyme in cracks on the garden path and step on the branches as if you were spraying a perfume. Roman mint and carpet mint are also suitable for such a carpet.
Many townspeople do not know that oregano forms strongly fragrant pink-white flowers that delight us from June to September, and that nasturtium not only tastes good in salads, but also covers garden benches with a yellow-orange splendor.
A herbal spiral with rosemary, basil, sage, oregano and lavender provides a Mediterranean fragrance. The sweet lavender complements the resinous bouquet of rosemary and the tangy sage.
If you buy perfume, choose it according to the fragrance. This is basically the case with plants, but as always in the garden, you also have to pay attention to when the plants bloom, how much sun and what soil they need, and at what time of day they exude their fragrance. You should also consider how intensely they smell, whether they are ground cover plants, tendril plants, swamp plants or herbs from dry zones.
You should combine plants with the same fragrance so that the coarse clouds of one do not suffocate the delicate breath of the other. In the case of strongly fragrant plants, you should consider whether they should not be left alone instead of bringing them together. Why? When several plants spread intense fragrances, they mix to form a new fragrance - as if you were applying five perfumes at the same time. Gorse, columbine or peony, for example, are more subtle in their smell. Night scents for bats, moths and night owls are Gemshorn, Levkojen, night jasmine, evening primrose and angel trumpet.
Blown by the wind
Notice the wind. Is your property sheltered from the wind, for example on a mountain slope? Then you hardly have a problem. But if there is draft in your garden, a stiff breeze will also drive away the volatile essential oils. In this case, you are well advised to create scent niches in which the plants can develop their full aroma. There are many ways to do this: You can plant a herb bed in a windless corner or plant scented shrubs on a hedge like a wall. You can also create a rondel made of natural stones and create a fragrance room in it.
The scented herb bed
Some plants smell excellent, but are poisonous, such as the angel's trumpet. This does not apply to a scented herb bed. The herbs are also a spice, a remedy and a pleasure for the nose. Chamomile and thyme fit on the fragrant lawn. Both need little maintenance, thyme can be used as a Mediterranean herb with little water, but enjoys the sun. Nasturtium grows almost everywhere, sage and clary sage sometimes grow so much that they have to keep the tart fragrant beauties in check. In addition, sage is a first-class medicinal herb, has an antiseptic and antibacterial effect, and tea made from sage leaves is the first-line home remedy for sore throats and hoarseness. Oregano smells spicy and promotes digestion.
The Mediterranean scents of thyme, oregano and lavender are in their element in sunny stone beds or even in crevices. But is it damp with them, is their garden even in the catchment area of a river? Then you don't have to do without a fragrance garden. Meadowsweet is a typical plant of riparian forests, river banks, wet ditches or the swamp zone of ponds. The name indicates that our ancestors valued the sweetness and presumably seasoned mead, the honey wine. From May, the plant overgrows with a sea of white flowers and emits a heavy honey scent, which is somewhat reminiscent of a smooth liquor.
Elisabeth I loved the scent, and the villagers of yesteryear sprinkled the mown plants on the floor - as a form of room spray at the time. Meadowsweet smells very strong, and you should sniff out if you like the smell before settling in. The Odeur is too intrusive for some.
To collect ideas for your own fragrance garden, you can visit one of the fragrance gardens in Germany, for example on the flower island of Mainau in Lake Constance, in the Eberswalde family garden, in the theme garden in Düsseldorf's Südpark, in the Rhododendron Park in Bremen or in the Botanical Garden in Berlin. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)