The Fragrant Herb Garden

fragrant herbs
Image by botamochi

By Robin Svedi

A fragrant herb garden is made up of herbal plants that are valued for their aromatic qualities. It’s a place where you might like to go at the end of a stressful workday to unwind. It can consist of a few pleasantly scented herbs planted in containers kept in the corner of your porch, a large garden with a sitting area, or just several fragrant herbs planted along a favorite walkway in your yard.

Fragrant Herb Garden

Most herbs will release their aromas better when they are brushed against or touched. A nice breeze also will carry the herb’s aromatic scent across the yard to you. Keep this in mind when you are deciding where to place your fragrant herb garden. Keeping it close by would definitely be a good idea.

When it comes to scented herbs, you have a huge assortment from which to choose. Keep in mind that just because an herb is scented doesn’t mean that you will personally enjoy its scent. Before choosing and planting your fragrant herb garden, take a good whiff of each plant to be sure that its fragrance is one that you find pleasing.

Fragrant Herbs for the Garden

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The following is a list of several herbs that are generally thought of by most people to have pleasing scents; in no way should this be considered a complete list as there are far too many wonderfully-scented herbs to list here. As mentioned previously, test each herb before purchasing by rubbing a leaf and sniffing it for yourself to be sure that it emits a scent that you find enjoyable. Not everyone likes the same scents. That’s what makes the world go round!

  • BasilBasil is mostly thought of as a culinary herb, but its undeniable fragrance is both pleasant and relaxing.
  • CatnipCatnip has a nice scent but be aware that the neighborhood kitties will also enjoy it and might create a bit of a mess getting to it in your garden.
  • ChamomileChamomile, though mostly thought of for its wonderful tea, is also a beautiful plant. Its flowers and foliage both smell terrific in the garden.
  • FeverfewFeverfew also produces attractive flowers, but most of its scent is emitted through its foliage and makes a nice addition to the fragrant herb garden.
  • LavenderLavender is an all-time favorite of the fragrant herbal gardener. Both the leaves and the flowers of this plant emit a powerful, yet relaxing, scent.
  • Lemon BalmLemon balm gets its name from its lemony-scented leaves. Many herbal gardeners adore its fresh scent. Be aware that lemon balm reproduces at a rapid rate and can quickly take over your garden if not kept after.
  • MintMint is another fragrant herb that can be quite invasive but much loved for its fresh scent. You might like to try peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint or orange mint in your own fragrant herb garden. By keeping them confined and in different areas of the garden, each will be able to keep its distinctive scent and fragrance.
  • Scented GeraniumsScented geraniums don’t flower as often or as beautifully as their cousins, known simply as geraniums, but their extraordinary scents make them one of the best plants for the fragrant herbal garden. There is a huge variety of scented geraniums to choose from, with different scents that include apple, apricot, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, nutmeg, orange, strawberry, rose, and peppermint to name a few. Their leaves need to be touched or brushed in order to release their rich aroma, so be sure to put these aromatic beauties near the edge of your garden. Scented geraniums are delicate herbs and will need to be moved indoors in the winter in most climates.

This list should help to get your fragrant herb garden started, but remember to take a moment to stop and smell all the different herbs that are available at your local gardening center before choosing the ones you’d prefer in your own garden. With such a wide variety to choose from, I warn you, it isn’t going to be easy.

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