Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

How to make the most of a fragrant garden

There are many reasons that gardening is such a popular pastime in the US – and the fact that it holds a universal appeal is surely quite high on the list.

Indeed, a recent study published by the University of Delaware found that it is a more widely-enjoyed pastime in the country than adventurous hobbies such as boating, golf or skiing.

However, this does not mean everyone enjoys it in quite the same way – indeed, it can be quite a personal enjoyment.

A new survey printed in Gardener's World magazine across the pond in the UK reveals women have a keener sense of smell than men – so could have a deeper appreciation for the distinctive scents of various plants than their male counterparts.

Some 2,000 individuals were quizzed on 15 garden scents and females were able to recognise 14 of these much better than males. Rose, lilac, freshly cut grass and compost were among the categories.

In fact, creosote was the only smell that men were able to identify as accurately as women.

Industrious green-fingered individuals can turn this to their advantage in the garden.

Gardener's World recommend trachelospermum jasminoides as a great wall climbing plant that produces a pleasant aroma.

Celebrity gardener and former presenter of the Gardener's World television show Toby Buckland recently stated that climbers are also good value.

In an interview for gossip and lifestyle magazine Female First, he explained they are particularly useful for hiding boundary walls and fences. This can make a garden appear so much bigger than it actually is, as it can create an illusion of more space.

Trachelospermum jasminoides is fairly easy to grow in the US – and is particularly popular in California.

Pelargonium is also recommended for those who wish to plant flowers for their scent. It is characterised by its cream-edged leaves that emit a delicious, lemony perfume when rubbed.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, gardener and author of Keeping a Few Hens in Your Garden Francine Raymond claimed this kind of scent can come with additional advantages.

"The lustrous dark green leaves of most citrus plants have a zingy smell, especially grapefruit and lime, if you can avoid scale insects and mealy bugs," the expert remarked.

Plants can also be more satisfying than artificial aromas.

"Sniff a lily and you'll feel a sense of wellbeing that Chanel can never match," celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh commented.