Wake up and smell the roses!

Gardening is good for you – something we’ve known for years – after all, how can it not be?! It’s that time of year where we really can wake up and smell the roses and the lavender and daphne and…

The Millbrook Rose Festival

This week it’s our Rose Festival and I am blown away every year by the range and quality of the roses on offer. Such wonderful new varieties with amazing colour and scent.

The unique fragrance of a rose

It’s worth thinking about the fragrance of a rose as well as everything else they have to offer:

The welcoming smell of a climbing rose such as ‘Clarence House’ – a beautiful creamy white with highlights of soft primrose yellow that flowers right through to Autumn, combined with honeysuckle.

The relaxing smell of a ‘Timeless’ pink rose with a wonderful fruity fragrance planted with lavender, which has been shown to lower our blood pressure and help us sleep.

The Oriental floral aroma of a ‘Timeless’ purple rose with some wonderful Mediterranean herbs like Thyme and Rosemary which is known to keep us alert and improve focus and memory.

Both the above-mentioned Peter Beales ‘Timeless’ roses are perfect for cutting, bringing that wonderful scent into your home, beating a plug-in air freshener any day of the week.

The physical and mental benefits of scent

So not only is the physical act of gardening, being in the great outdoors and getting your dose of vitamin D great for you, research on fragrant flowers has highlighted their benefit to both mental and physical health by relieving stress and depression. Scent can also improve memory, focus and wellbeing, particularly in combination with other sensory engagement with plants and gardening activities.

Scent and pests

Obviously, plants didn’t evolve scent for our benefit, but to attract pollinating insects, rewarding them with nectar and pollen. These pollinating insects often predate the sap-sucking aphids that are the bane of any rose-lover’s life. Ladybirds and hoverfly larvae are voracious eaters of aphids, so attracting them onto your scented roses is an extra bonus and a great way to keep these pests at bay spray-free.

Put your nose in a rose

There is a rose for every taste, whether it’s a blousy bloom or simple flower, shape or size of garden and for every nose. So get your senses working overtime, put your nose in a rose and choose your favourite.

Tammy Woodhouse