With the unseasonable cold weather now behind us, the Horticultural Trades Association is encouraging gardeners to start planting some 'pick me up' plants in their beds and containers to enhance well-being into the summer months.
Both floral and herbal scented products have long been recognised for their health benefits, an HTA survey revealed that nearly two thirds (63%) of people in the UK purchasing these products on a monthly basis. However, only 12% actually plant these in the garden with a quarter of people (25%) not knowing how to use them for health benefits when growing them.
Through their 'Spring into Summer' campaign, the HTA are encouraging people to give their garden a simple and healthy, scented makeover.
The most popular scented plants are readily available in the garden centre. Lavender is one of the most renowned for their scent and herbal properties. Lavender is most commonly known for providing relaxation, aiding sleep and relieving stress.
A great value garden plant, you can enjoy its aromatic, silver-grey foliage all year, and in summer it produces an abundance of scented flowers in blues, purples, pinks or white. Lavender is a favourite with gardeners not just for its beautiful form and fragrance but also because it attracts essential pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Plants such as hyacinths produce a scent that can lift moods. They can be planted in groups and also make attractive houseplants. Lily of the Valley is known to combat tiredness and fight fatigue. It is ideal to plant in shady spots or under trees for ground coverage in the garden.
Roses provide a calming scent that can help ease nerves. Purchase a living rose from a garden centre and plant in an open, sunny site. With such a wide range available you can find roses that will suit both large and small gardens, contemporary or traditional, varieties for planting into flower beds or traditional borders and for potting into planters for the courtyard or patio garden, giving instant appeal.
Chamomile is best known for being an ingredient in tea. Its most common use is for relaxation but it is also used for digestion, to curing headaches and also as an antiseptic. Chamomile is best planted in bulk in full sun and would look good as part of a lawn.
Herbs such as mint and rosemary also have a number of benefits. Mint can help settle an upset stomach and soothes and softens skin. Mint is perfect for being grown in a border or in a pot, but it can spread very rapidly so it is best grown in an enclosed area in a sunny position in loam or sandy soil.
Rosemary has many amazing properties including providing energy, concentration, and stimulation and can be used to condition hair as well by mixing a pinch with warm water. It is a drought resistant plant and needs a well drained, sunny position in the garden. Thyme also helps to ease aches and pains and attracts both bees and butterflies to your garden.
HTA Director Carol Paris said: "Although colour is an important part of any garden, introducing different scents is essential to creating your perfect outdoor space. Planting scented plants in your garden is so easy and has so many benefits to yourself and to bees and butterflies that pollinate the garden."