Gardens aren’t just for growing food. In your garden, you can also grow fragrant plants simply for your enjoyment and well-being.
When you plant a garden of aromatic herbs, that’s called an aromatherapy garden. This post is about how to plan and plant an aromatherapy garden that feels like paradise.
Scents and themes in a fragrance garden: Things to consider
Being a lavender and herb farmer, I’m naturally attracted to cultivating different scents in my garden and on my farm. I find myself walking down rows of herbs and borders with my hands freely touching the plants and then smelling my hands. I do it without even noticing. I will often pick leaves and rub them between my fingers and hold the leaves or flower buds up to my nose.
I often feel a sense of peace and harmony when I do this. Taking a moment here and there to smell the wonderful herbs growing around our farm is a true pleasure.
I’ll feel exhilaration when I pick thyme or mint. My salivary glands are activated when I pick lemon verbena or lemon balm.
Like I said – gardening isn’t just for growing food. Gardening is for all the senses.
When planning out your aromatherapy garden, one approach is to create fragrance areas in your garden with different themes throughout your garden space.
An area of energizing scents: peppermint, rosemary, lemon balm. An area of calming scents: lavender, hyssop, chamomile, bergamot.
Or maybe you have an area in your aromatherapy garden for kitchen herbs, since you would like to access this garden often, make it accessible from your house.
Decorate your aromatherapy garden with stepping stones. Consider using mounds, rocks, beds and borders to create small areas throughout your herb garden. Perennial herbs can make lovely borders.
Some wonderful aromatic herbs to consider for your garden are basil, coriander, dill, lavender, fennel, marjoram, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary and savory.
I like to incorporate scented geraniums, lemon verbena and blooming nasturtium.
If you’re in a zone 5 or lower, consider placing the more cold sensitive plants (which you can bring indoors during the winter) in pots and scatter those pots through out this themed garden.
You can grow a tea garden beside or close to your kitchen garden. Plant aromatic plants like bee balm, chamomile, peppermint (leave in a pot so it will not take over your garden), rose, lemon grass, and tulsi.
Try planting different mints in different sized containers or planters some of my favorites are pineapple mint, mountain mint, orange mint, double mint.
A healing aromatherapy garden can contain plants that have healing effects by the scent alone. Leaf scents that are known to be mood enhancers include, clary sage, helicrysum italicum, coriander, lemon balm, scented geranium, rosemary, lemon verbena. Flowers with such effects include lavender, damask rose, dianthus clove pink, clematis, Chinese wisteria and gardenia.
Seeds of plants can also induce calm and relaxation such as dill, angelica and fennel.
When planning your aromatherapy garden, think about what would feel like paradise to you. Consider the qualities of different herbs: the way they smell, the way they taste, how they look and how they grow.
Give yourself the gift of these precious moments of walking through your garden, smelling different herbs, and connecting to plants and peace.