Do you dream of sitting watching the sun go down, on a terrace in the Mediterranean, in short sleeves with a cold drink in your hand? Well you can easily create that atmosphere (when the sun finally comes out) by surrounding yourself with scented foliage and aromatic herbs. Here are six aromatic plants you should have within reach of your favourite patio seat:
A great way to transport yourself to the Med is to place the right plants as close as you can to your garden seating, so that minimal effort is required to lean over, give them a rub, and enjoy their various remarkable fragrances. They release their essential oils when you handle them or brush against them. Why not try these:
1. Scented Pelargoniums are amazing! Rub them with your fingers and then have a sniff and you are in for a surprise. There are a wide range of varieties, with scents of apple, orange, lemon, mint, roses, pine and plenty of others. It always seems strange to pick up such distinctive smells of a totally different plant. They are fabulous next to a seat where you can fondle them and breathe them in.
2. Thyme is available in pine-scented and lemon-scented varieties. It forms low growing clumps, has delicious fragrance when you run your fingers through it, and is ideal for cooking with.
3. Rosemary – Grows into a fairly large shrub, another great herb to add to meat dishes during cooking. Rosemary is evergreen so it will look good all year round as well as smelling great when you touch it.
4. Lavender – There are several varieties available in most garden centres. I prefer “Hidcote” which has a really strong, pungent scent, which it releases at the slightest touch.
5. Sage – Common Sage (Salvia officianalis) is another culinary herb that can be added to cooking. In the garden it has a lovely smell. There is also a purple variety, and a couple that have leaves that smell of pineapple. And they really do smell strongly of pineapple! Weird and wonderful!
6. Oregano – A staple of Italian pasta sauces, oregano really adds a flavour of the Mediterranean to both your dinner and your garden.
Including aromatic plants adds an extra dimension to the experience of being in the garden. Sitting in the garden you can easily enjoy the sights and sounds, but adding any of these six plants to your garden will let you experience the touch and smell of it as well.