A well-tended garden is always attractive, but does it provide more than eye candy? Whether yours is a minimalist Zen retreat or a riot of English country perennials, a few select items can turn any garden into a feast for the senses.
Hear your garden
Forget the wind chimes. Natural sounds are less intrusive and more relaxing.
- Water: You don’t have to install an expensive waterfall or pond to enjoy the sound of water. Modern fiberglass fountains are affordable, need no special installation and often operate on little more than an electric pump. You won’t hear an engine, just the sound of trickling water.
- Birds: Feeding stations will have cardinals singing your praises, but many birds love flowers and berries. Coneflowers, sunflowers, zinnias and serviceberry are easy to grow and will keep the finches and chickadees happy.
- Sound of silence: A garden provides its own music, but you won’t hear the birds, bees or wind rustling through the trees if you blast the stereo. No trees in your area? Fast-growing pampas grass or bamboo provide privacy and gentle whispers.
Smell your garden
Many expensive fragrances mimic the scent of flowers. Create your own perfume counter from the ground up with these aromatic picks:
- At your feet: Walking on woolly thyme, creeping thyme or Corsican mint releases their fragrance. Plant these aromatic carpets on pathways or between flagstones.
- In the middle: Lavender makes a fragrant border while bergamot (the essential oil that gives Earl Grey tea its distinct flavour), releases a scent when brushed against. Peonies, iris and lily-of-the-valley are as fragrant as they are beautiful.
- Overhead: Flowering climbers, such as wisteria and honeysuckle, can dangle over arbours or pergolas, releasing their heady perfume as you walk by. Larger flowering shrubs, like lilac and mock orange, provide a fragrant hedge.