It is a good time to plant up final summer plants, especially those that are perfumed, for scented air has been an essential ingredient of expatriate Mediterranean gardens since the times of Phoenician Greek Roman and Arab immigrants. Fortunately, of course, those living in Apartments can plant up containers on covered balconies and terraces regardless of the rain.

So let’s look first at the perfumed plants included in our book Apartment Gardening Mediterranean Style.

Marigold, French marigold perfume and a good insect inhibitor; Dianthus or carnation-pink, petunias, chrysanthemums – also a useful insect inhibitor; Lady of the Night – which pumps out perfume in the late afternoon and evening; Datura – although poisonous so best not used in apartments or gardens with children; gravoeolens or rose and lemon scented geraniums; lantana montevidensis – the low growing and
spreading mauve flowered variety that is not liked by mosquitoes; lavenders; frangipani – easier to keep on sheltered terraces than in many exposed gardens; lilac – a plant well known in ancient Persia; freesias – that were still flowering over Easter; hyancinths – time to take out of window boxes now to dry and store until autumn replantings.

Asiatic Lilies – you might still find some bulbs for planting now for summer flowering; San Diego – a splendid plant easy to grow from seed – now found in UK seed catalogues; late planted narcissi have been flowering over Easter although late this year; Pink tinted jasmine polyanthums; solanums; gardenias; primulas; stephanotis and of course roses and culinary herbs such as thyme and rosemary, plus citrus trees – especially perpetual flowering lemons.

Plenty to choose from!  And indeed when planting up window boxes and other containers for apartment window sills, balconies and terraces a good case could be made for planting only perfumed plants.

When it comes to patios and open gardens, the same plants come to mind plus of course flowering trees such as arbutus strawberry trees, justice trees (now in bloom in our garden), magnolias, parkinsonias, bead trees, and the weeping false acacias. Oh and we almost forgot the 15 metre row of sweet peas that is currently in flower as a wind break and shade on our vegetable plot. We collect seeds each year and suspect that after ten years we now have some self-pollinated new varieties among the masses of flowers.

So review the potential for more using more perfumed plants for your apartment or villa and plant up during the next two or three weeks to ensure balmy summer evenings and nights and a welcome all day long as people enter your property. The first plant we had was planted by the builder alongside our entrance gate as a moving-in present.

It was a jasmine polyanthum and is still growing healthily 25 years later – just needs a ‘short back and sides’ after flowering to stimulate continuous flowering…Clodagh and Dick’s practical gardening books each include plant lists that give Botanical, English and Spanish names to help you select suitable plants and identify those that you inherited.

The four books are available from bookshops or conveniently by email from the websites of Santana Books, Amazon, Royal Horticultural Society and Angloinfo.

(Source : Written By Clodagh and Dick Handscombe: )

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