NIGHT-SCENTED BORDER

In the daytime the garden is there to be seen and admired but in the evening when the shadows fall the bright flowers have lost their power and it is then that a garden can be ‘felt’. The scents that arise can bring about a sense of enchantment and a walk in the garden at night-time can be, as a result, more entrancing than a stroll during the glories of midday. Plant with a view to making one border at least, or part of a border, a scented one, and see how the luminous petals of the Evening Primroses glow palely and the scented drift of the Mrs Sinkins pinks pervade the air.

In the case of crazy paving it is always useful to plant up the interspaces with the scented thyme which has a carpeting-like effect and gives off a lovely scent when trod-den on. There are a number of these baby thymes. Ask your nurseryman about them. Along the front of the border you can have the Night-scented Stock. Do not have too much of it in one spot or it looks untidy in the daytime. Mix it with Virginia Stock and you have brightness in the day and fragrance at night. I like to have the Night-scented Stock in a narrow bed close to the study window and its perfume is wafted into the room.

Another plant that does well is the Cenothera odorata. This grows about 1.2m (4 ft) high and bears buff flowers. It gives off plenty of perfume. Close by, plant a drift of the Dame’s Violet or Sweet Rocket as it is often called. It can easily be grown from seed and will produce spikes 600 mm (2 ft) long, the top 250 mm (10 in) of which will be covered with white or purplish flowers according to variety.

There is a dwarfer type known as Delicate Mauve, which grows nearly 450 mm (18 in) tall but is just as highly scented. The Tobacco plants give much perfume in the evening hours. Nicotiana affinis looks rather unbecoming during the day because its flowers are closed. Nicotiana suaveolens only grows 450 mm (18 in) high, the pure white flowers being over 40 mm (1|- in) across. This is the variety usually used for the greenhouse.

Other plants that may be grown for their scent are the Monarda or Bergamot with its scarlet flowers and scented leaves; Balm with its delightfully lemon scented foliage; Lavender; the Lemon-scented Verbena; Sweet Briar Roses; the Veronica cupressoides, which smell of cedar wood, and Rosemary which has a subtle smell of the bay.

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