Bob Flowerdew - "The Perfumed Garden" 26th April 2019
Bawdeswell Garden centre was delighted to welcome the amazing Bob Flowerdew on Friday 26th April for a very interesting talk about creating a perfumed garden.
As many of you will know he is a TV presenter and radio broadcaster- as well as a regular panel member for Gardener’s Question Time- Bob is also a very successful author of many gardening books relating to gardening the organic way.
Bob talked to us all about the production of perfume by flowers to attract pollinating insects and thereby assisting in the transference of pollen to produce new fertile seed and ultimately more plants. Usually the insects are rewarded with a ‘dose’ of sweet nectar for their endeavours!
Fragrance is best appreciated in warm and moist conditions, and enhanced by planting in a sheltered area where the volume of fragrance can develop.
Butterflies, moths and bees are the pollinators for us here in the UK. Moths and butterflies are able to visualise best the colours of red, yellow and oranges, whilst bees see the colour blue more easily. Incorporate in your planting schemes species and varieties with simple flowers and single rows of petals. That will allow the insects to reach the pollen more easily; big blousy double and multi-petalled flowers tend to have no pollen at all.
Note fragrance can be produced by foliage as well as flowers; usually in these instances the ‘message’ given off if one of, ‘don’t eat me’. A lot of Mediterranean plants such as lavender emit fragranced oils from their grey/green, hairy foliage. The foliage is natures’ way of reducing overall water-loss by these plants. Positioning fragranced foliaged plants near path edges and exits to your home means you will maximise your enjoyment of these plants as you brush past the foliage and release those heady oils.
And don’t forget to bring in a few delightfully fragranced stems of your choice plant(s) indoors as either a few cut flower s or scented woody stems. Everyone can then enjoy their delicious aromas no matter what the season is, or even what the weather is doing outside.
For additional advice on how to plant a perfumed garden, please refer to the Royal Horticultural Societies’ web site and type in: ‘Fragrant plants’ .Remember now is a great time to raise inexpensive annuals or perennials directly from seed, so get planting, there’s really no excuse!