One of my favourite aspects of gardening is the smell, whether basil as you brush by, coriander lining the walkway for the bees, the crush of lemon thyme under foot on pathways, the calming caress of the lavender plant, or the decadent wafting of lilies and roses in bloom. All of these an more make gardening a source tranquility for me.
Did you know that tomato vines have a distinct aroma? Or that sweet peas are beautifully perfumed? Have you stopped in the middle of an orchard in blossom to inhale pear and apple blossom (the pear is not quite as pleasant as the apple).
Each of the smells helps identify the part of the garden, and the time of summer. Some are early smells, like the tulips and lily of the valley. Others, like the jasmine, are the perfume of hot summer nights, accompanied by loons calling across the lake.
A funny thing about sharing the smells of the garden, all of the little winged creatures are peaceful and tolerant of the people passing through. A bee drunk on pollen and enjoying the sophoric pleasure of a warm flower bed is not an aggressive creature.
This summer I have three different types of basil, a new lavender to try from seed – I may be getting overly ambitious, but even one season is appreciated. I will be putting in more fruit trees, and spreading more sweet peas through the gardens. The rosemary varieties will bake happily in the sun, and I am crossing my fingers that the coriander has self seeded in the new herb bed.
How happy will those garden cats be as they nap under the fragrances of the summer garden?