A scented garden appeals to us much more immediately and intimately than any other type of garden. Fragrance is one of the surest keys to memory and the memory of a night-scented garden gently wafting through your window on a summer evening will have a quality you will remember forever.
This is an especially wonderful memory gift to give to your children or grandchildren. I have a memory from childhood of sleeping outside on the second story deck outside my bedroom, with sweet-smelling fragrances lulling me to sleep. Throughout the years, this memory has always been with me and brings cherished thoughts of my mother’s and grandmother’s gardens. Just a faint whiff of Nicotiana, Daphne or old-fashioned English roses immediately evokes these memories.
Summer evenings have a quality unsurpassed by any other time of the day or year. A warm ‘still’ envelopes the garden and romantic, heady scents permeate the mind.
Picture yourself or a child strolling along scented garden paths, perhaps under arches heavy with Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Clematis and Old-fashioned climbing roses. The paths edged with Lavender, the flower beds overflowing with Russian sage, Mock orange, Artemisia, White sage, Soapwort, Phlox. Lady Banks roses, Daphne, Night-scented Stock, Four o’clocks, Nicotiana Alata, Dame’s Rocket, Moonflowers, Evening Primrose, and Reseda odorata or Common Mignonette to just name a few, among hundreds, of heavenly, night-scented plants.
Having a pleasing scent is most important in your night-scented garden. Also eye-catching color, especially during half-light at dusk, makes an even more pleasurable experience. Fading light has a varying influence on colors. Those blossoms at the darker end of the color spectrum become relatively much darker than lighter ones such as whites, light pinks and yellows. Flowers with these lighter colors extend evening color longest so should be dominate in your night-scented garden. This is especially important along pathways.
Flowers towards the darker end of the spectrum should be dominantly edged or centered with or around lighter colors for best visual results. Even though the colors may be darker, the heady aromas will mingle gently among the other flowers, producing pleasant surprises in your night-scented garden.
Warm, south or west-facing walls that absorb heat during the daytime enrich the heady and sweet scents of many vines and climbing shrubs. The location of your night-scented garden is important. An especially wonderful place to have an area of night-scented plants and vines is just outside a bedroom window. Nothing is more delightfully memory-producing than falling asleep to the soothing bouquet of scent from clusters of honeysuckle or rambling, climbing roses, wisteria, jasmine or any other of the above-mentioned night scented plants.
Have fun planning and planting your sweet, scented memories.