Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Garden Gifts Are Blessings

 The Gift of Smells – Blessing #9

I love so many aspects of the gardening experience, but none excites my senses as much as the sense of smell.  Oh, to have ‘smellavision’, for I do not know how to have you experience the aromas with just my description.

So let your imagination go, and let’s go into this smell, smell world!

grass clippings

Fresh mowed grass smells moist, and earthy, and green.  I love the smell.

turning compost

Fresh compost is earthy and moist – no wait – that was the mowed grass!

Pine trees – no, not this ‘pine scent’ but apparently my preference for the pine is worth having for so many.  I’d rather have the real pine scent. A true gift of nature.
pine scent
pine christmas scent

This is more of what I have in mind when I think of pine – but here again, this aroma is pressed into candles, and room deodorizers in cans. These aromas that entice our sense of smell are a blessing that the garden offers - naturally. We keep trying to bring these fragrances into every aspect of our lives.


Basil and lavender are herbs that give an added element to cooking. The pasta sauce with basil is mouth-watering, and taste and smell go together for culinary enjoyment.

Lavender scent is very calming and is often used in bath products and lotions. Sashays of lavender have lined dresser drawer for centuries. Tussie Mussies, such as this, graced the Victoria Maiden when daily showers and personal deodorants were not available.These fragrant bouquets waft the ladies in lovely floral scents. A Blessing?  Most Certainly!

mint in container

Mint has many varieties – mint with underlying flavors of orange, basil, lavender, banana, spearmint, lemon, chocolate, apple and pineapple. By rubbing the mint leaf, one can smell the mint flavor.

Sage is a fragrant, bushy plant that rarely grows taller than 2 or 3 feet.

Pineapple sage is a fast-growing plant with bright green leaves and red blooms that appear in late summer or early fall and smells like pineapple!  It is used as a fresh, edible flower and is added to salads, iced teas or used as garnish. This Pineapple sage is only hardy to zone 8, but can be grown an an annual in colder climates.
pineapple sage - smell
Pineapple sage


Herbs of any type are fragrant.  I like the smell of lemon balm, - reminds me of lemon drop candy.  But if it is allowed to flower, you can have a lot of lemon balm pretty quickly, as it floats around the garden.

scent - lemon balm
Lemon Balm

Roses – how does one describe a rose aroma?  The smell is bottled and sold as a cologne and bath oil. Rose petals retain their aroma even when they are dried and used in potpourri. Citrus, cinnamon, and  bay leaves meld senses into a refreshing combination.

Roses, lavender, and pine scents are a gift from the garden. 

Everyone has a favorite rose for color or petal count, or disease resistance, but Greesemonkymann wrote that he likes Blue Girl. “it's a purple/blue rose that smells AMAZING, hands down the best smelling rose, I've ever smelt, and I've smelt lots. Completely different than typical rose smell, lavender, lilac, jasmine like smell.”


Necotiana emits an aroma late day.  It wafts through the garden and the scent is strongest at night, so as to attract pollinating moths.

 Nicotiana sylvestris is a species of the genus Nicotiana, known by the common names woodland tobacco, flowering tobacco, and South American tobacco. It is grown as an annual in my Zone 6 garden for its scented flowers. This plant is a gift in the garden.

CasaBlance is a lily that I have in my garden and when they are blooming, all you want to do is stand nearby and just breath.  Although, near is not a prerequisite, as the fragrance of this lily will come out to meet you. A gift for sure.

Casablance lily - scent

I must not forget to mention all of the flowering trees that delight us for a week or so every year.  Apple, cherry, crabapple, and serviceberry welcome the spring with their gift of  scent.

scent - crabapple

Artemisia, lilacs, hyacinths each have its own heady scent that linger in the early summer garden.

But let's not ignore the seasonal scent of burning leaves on a bonfire in the fall.  Great memories are evoked from this smell - roasting marshmallows...... and sitting next to someone special on a hayride.

I know I’m omitting so many other plants, but acknowledging that fragrances from any source are  gifts from the garden and they are truly a blessing.

What fragrance do you like?  Please share with us you favorite.  Thanks.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I can only second the many garden smells you mention. I can add just a couple: the smell of anise hyssop leaves. The smell of tomato plants and fresh mint, fresh dill, and fresh rosemary.