Embrace the full sensory appeal of flowers this June, including the most evocative of all … fragrance!

Research on floral scents has highlighted their benefit to both mental and physical health by relieving stress and depression. Scent can also improve memory, focus and wellbeing, particularly in combination with other sensory engagement with plants and gardening activities.

By growing fragrant plants customers can enjoy these benefits too, whether they’re looking for something rosy and relaxing, oriental and intoxicating, or fresh and invigorating.

Create scented displays that create a desired effect, such as the welcome fragrance of honeysuckle and roses around an entrance, the uplifting scent of lilies or lilac catching the breeze, or aromatic oils from Mediterranean herbs filling the air on a balmy summer’s evening.

For relaxation, the scent of lavender has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate to promote sleep, while aromatic rosemary keeps you alert, improving focus and memory. Sometimes a scent can even unlock a childhood memory, transporting you back to a time or place to help remember people and events in the past.

So, swap the scented candle displays this month and encourage customers to grow their own aromatherapy plants instead, with support from the ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.


The Fragrance Wheel was developed by the perfume industry to categorise different scents, giving them a descriptive language they can use. Fragrance directly changes our mood, too. Fruity and spicy perfumes are uplifting and reinvigorating, while floral and rosy perfumes reduce stress and anxiety, promoting mental balance. Fresh, green, herbal and citrus perfumes keep us mentally active and creative, while earthy scents can be comforting and nurturing.


Retailers, make displays using any selection of fragrant plants and flowers. Also, include cut flowers and houseplants to bring fragrance indoors.


Develop displays of plants with scented flowers or foliage eg

Lavender & Butterfly Lavender

Fragrant roses

Mock Orange – Philadelphus vars eg ‘Belle Etoile’ AGM

Daphne x transatlantica Eternal Fragrance AGM

Escallonia ‘Iveyi’ AGM

Abelia x grandiflora

Lilac – later flowering Syringa varieties

Aromatic herbs eg rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon verbena, oregano.

Perennials like Salvia ‘Carradonna’, Phlox divaricate ‘Clouds of Perfume’ and varieties of Verbasum.

Scented paeonies, shrubs, climbers, bulbs, Verbena rigida.

For further information go to www.hta.org.uk/gardeningisgoodforyou or contact [email protected]


JUNE IMAGE CREDIT Lavandula 'Pretty Polly' © Adam Pasco Media

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