summer 2013

Sunday, June 26, 2011


At Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD,  there is a fragrance garden that incorporates many different plants.  The one thing they have in common is their wonderful smell.  Some emit a fragrance, some you have to touch .  I have been going to Brookside Gardens since the late 1970s.  It is FREE. It is  BEAUTIFUL.  Please go if you have the opportunity.

In my home garden (different from my farm garden,)  we have stone steps leading up to our front door.  When my husband planned these around 12 years ago,  I talked him into making planters for me.  I have planted lots of perennials in them, and every year I also put in some annuals.  The biggest criteria for choosing plants comes down to fragrance.

 When I come home, my hand automatically reaches out to touch all the plants


pineapple sage

  I know this isn't much to look at, but if you rub a leaf between your fingers, it smells just like pineapple.  In late summer, beautiful red flowers appear.


dianthus - also called pinks

Dianthus is a tender perennial.  Sometimes is survives the winter, sometimes not.  I've had them last up to 5 years.  They smell like carnations.


sweet alyssum - an annual

lavender in flower

sweet woodruff - incredible smell, very sweet.

lemon balm - smells like lemon when you rub a leaf.  A little aggressive, but easy to pull out.  Also flowers later.

more lavender

Because so many of the plants are green,  I add other plants for color, these usually have little or no scent.

sedum - succulent plant that needs very little water

prickly pear

  A native. Will have pretty yellow flowers later in the summer.  Always wear gloves, this plant has tiny spines that HURT!  Also happy in a drought.

Evening Primrose

Knock out rose bush.

Ugly right now.  I dead headed all the blooms, more will follow.  Nice scent, but not really strong.  Since I hate using chemicals,  I let the bugs alone.  But you can see, more leaves and flowers are coming.

To top everything off,  I use cocoa shell mulch in the garden.  Smells like chocolate.  I don't know if this mulch is readily available, but we live about 80 miles away from Hershey, Pa, home to a large chocolate factory.

On my deck, I have a couple of planters.  This year for the first time, I planted Jasmine.  Smells great.  I am not always on top of watering containers.  Hope it isn't too needy.  This is a southern plant, I will assume it is an annual.   Also, mountain mint is new to me this year.  Very tall, leaves smell great when rubbed.  Every year I put in lots of herbs for cooking or just because they are pretty and smell good.


mountain mint

oregano - smells like pizza :)

  My wonderful Mother in law, Maurine died  in 1999.  Her favorite color for flowers was yellow.  I know it is silly, but I always have some kind of yellow flower planted every year.

This year it is a marigold.  Portulaca is another favorite and every once in a while I find yellow petunias.

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