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Talkback: Scented plants and memory

Carnations remind me of the warm embrace of my grandmother who always clouded her body in talcum.

Violets remind me of my mother and her passion for Parma Violet fondant chocolates. Roses because she soused herself in Joy perfume by Jean Patou.

Freesias remind me of my sister as we carried little white baskets of Freesias as her bridesmaids.

Mint reminds me of my father whose breath smelt minty when I was kissed goodbye at school gates.

Gorse reminds me of beach holidays, not because it grows in the sandy soil but because it smells of coconut and vanilla launch lotion.

Lilies just transport me -just like inhaling the head of a bathed baby , it makes you soar.


  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591
    It.s only the scents that flowers have that entice me to pick a bunch for the house as they look so good in the garden and many are there as bee and butterfly food. But the kitchen has a huge posy of lily of the valley in it right now and my study has pink lavender and white phlox on the mantelpiece. I shall always remember the lovely smell of Ribes odorata now as that is what brought a lovely pair of visitors to the Bot, garden over to ask me what plant was giving off the wonderful smell and we found we had a mutual friend whom they had not seen since Oxford days. Smells are very, very, powerful.
  • donutsmrsdonutsmrs Posts: 486
    Freesia always remind me of my mum. She really loved them and this year I have grown some in a pot in the greenhouse. Roses too are just the smell of summer. I have a lot of plants with scent, like happymarion for the bees and butterflies. But it is mostly Freesia, just to smell them and I close my eyes and my mum is here again.
  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306
    I also love Lady Plymouth, for me she is one of the best. It is quite fascinating to rub a pelargonium leaf and not know quite what you will get! They were all labelled, but we are blessed with blackbirds, who seem to really enjoy removing labels, no matter what type I use. Some of the scented pelargoniums are just as beautiful, in their quieter way, as any of the showy hybrids we know and love. Scent is such a special thing, often used to help people regain their memories or to stimulate in dementia.
  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Pelargoniums remind me of my mother, she loved them. I also remember a large scented pelargonium that she had - it eventually went because the smell became too strong!

  • oldchippyoldchippy Posts: 244
    My Philadelphus Coronarius Aureus has been in flower for over a week and the scent has filled the kitchen each night it grows about 20 feet away from the house and with the southerly breeze we get the full fragrance,Just perfect.
  • AnneeAnnee Posts: 6
    Though it's not amongst my favourite scents, the smell of a flowering Privet hedge takes me back almost 65 years; post war childhood in Barnsley was completely void of flowers until the Privet bloomed. The only other flower scent from my early years was the Carnation in my Grandfather's buttonhole at my eldest sister's wedding. Even now, when I smell Carnations, I get an imaginary hint of baccy with it.

    As a ten year old, I encountered my first rose; a great blousey soft blush coloured cabbage rose which smelled heavenly. To this day I'm still hunting for one to match it.
  • sterelitzasterelitza Posts: 109

    Hi, just like Annee I remember the smell of a flowering Privet hedge from the same era, but another smell which is stronger and has more scent are the huge flowers on my Cordoline which has grown over 12 ft high, the sweet smell drifts over the garden on the breeze and reminds me of playing outdoors during the summer as a child just after the war.

  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 386

    Sweet William remind me of our old neighbour where I grew up. I grew them from seed last year in memory of my childhood I was looking at them today another couple of weeks and they should be flowering

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