SCENTS CHECK

As things die down out­side, your home can be brought alive through the strik­ing blooms and won­der­ful aroma of in­door flow­ers

Grimsby Telegraph - - Your Garden -

FROM a blast of freshly cut grass to the del­i­cate fra­grance of jas­mine in the evening, scents can re­ally lift our spir­its. But just be­cause there aren’t many flow­ers in your gar­den at this time of year, it doesn’t mean you have to go with­out their de­li­cious per­fume in­side your home.

A huge va­ri­ety of at­trac­tive house­plants will give off flo­ral aro­mas to die for through­out the au­tumn and win­ter months.

One of the most de­light­ful in­door bulbs for fra­grance is hy­acinth. Once in bloom, im­pres­sive spikes fes­tooned with sig­na­ture star-shaped flow­ers will fill your house with a sweet and heady laven­der-like scent you will love.

They are also avail­able in a va­ri­ety of in­cred­i­ble colours, from the rain mac yel­low of ‘Yel­low Queen’ to the deep vi­o­let of the ‘Miss Saigon’ va­ri­ety, so they will brighten your home in more ways than one. But if you are one for more sub­tle scents, then amaryl­lis – hip­peas­trum– might be the best choice for you. The cel­e­bra­tory trum­pet-shaped flow­ers, which top el­e­gant tall stems, also give off a del­i­cate scent if you pick the fra­grant va­ri­eties.

Choose ‘Ap­ple Blos­som’ for pink-tinted white flow­ers ac­com­pa­nied by a mel­low aroma. Or with ‘Jewel’ you will get mes­meris­ing semi-dou­ble cream flow­ers with a mild scent. Hy­acinths and amaryl­lis are both bulbs that are planted in­doors at this time of year and, if treated cor­rectly, can flower in time for Christ­mas.

You will need to buy hy­acinth bulbs la­belled “pre­pared” – these have been chilled so that when you plant them in the warm, they think spring has come early and burst into bloom.

Nar­cis­sus pa­pyraceus – pa­per­white daf­fodils – are also beau­ti­fully aro­matic and can be planted now to flower in De­cem­ber.

For a step-by-step guide, take a look at my blog, Forc­ing Bulbs for Christ­mas, which you can find over at david­domoney.com.

Or you could buy them ready grown from florists, gar­den cen­tres and even su­per­mar­kets. Two fan­tas­tic climb­ing plants for some heav­enly in­door fra­grance are Stephan­otis flori­bunda, known as Mada­gas­car jas­mine, and Jas­minum polyan­thum – many-flow­ered jas­mine.

Stephan­otis’s five-pointed white flow­ers will be on dis­play now and bloom well into au­tumn, fill­ing your house with a pleas­ant per­fume. The strongly scented Jas­minum polyan­thum can also be bought now and will be­gin to pro­duce a pro­fu­sion

of pretty, del­i­cate pink buds early in the new year.

The heady scent of jas­mine be­comes par­tic­u­larly pro­nounced at night, so it’s a great choice for plac­ing in the room where you re­lax or en­ter­tain in the evenings.

Both plants are climbers and can be shaped into hoops, twined around a moss pole or trained up a dec­o­ra­tive me­tal obelisk to great ef­fect.

They can also both be placed out­side dur­ing milder weather for ex­tra dec­o­ra­tion.

But if, like me, you find the aes­thet­ics of the rose hard to beat, then rose look-alike scented flow­ers may be the best of both worlds as we head into the depths of win­ter. For spec­tac­u­lar minia­ture rose-like flow­ers in a tech­ni­colour dream coat of colours, choose prim­ula va­ri­eties from the Prim­let Series. Avail­able to buy now, these prim­roses be­gin flow­er­ing in Fe­bru­ary and will fill your home with a de­light­ful scent in the deep­est days of win­ter.

They love a sunny spot and are fairly hardy so a bright win­dowsill is ideal for these beau­ties.

Queen of the plants for in­door fra­grance, how­ever, has to be Gar­de­nia jas­mi­noides – cape jas­mine.

Its ex­quis­ite, bride-white flow­ers con­trast with its stun­ning, glossy dark green fo­liage. It is so highly scented that just one of these plants will fra­grance sev­eral rooms at

once. The ovate fo­liage and rosette flow­ers make gar­de­nias look like minia­ture rose bushes flow­er­ing out of sea­son.

You have to work for it, though, as gar­de­nias are very par­tic­u­lar. They pre­fer an even tem­per­a­ture, so – un­like prim­u­las – dis­like draughty spots near door­ways.

And they are no fan of win­dowsills, which can get cold overnight. How­ever, these beau­ties also need at least half a day of di­rect light in win­ter, so you have to strike the right bal­ance with your po­si­tion­ing. Gar­de­nias are also not keen on the high min­eral con­tent of tap wa­ter so need to be wa­tered ei­ther with rain wa­ter or with cooled boiled wa­ter to stay at their best. It might sound a lot to take on but, if you are care­ful, gar­de­nias will re­ward you ten­fold.

Opt for a mix­ture of all these plant va­ri­eties and you will have a home full of fan­tas­ti­cally per­fumed blooms from now through to the new year.

And fra­grant cut flow­ers such as Lil­ium ‘Stargazer’ and freesia on your ta­ble will give things a fab­u­lous fi­nal flour­ish and your nose a real treat.

Hy­acinths are fra­grant and come in a va­ri­ety of cheery colours

All amaryl­lis are bright and cheer­ful, but there are also scented va­ri­eties. And the stephan­otis’ five-pointed white flow­ers will fill your house with a pleas­ant per­fume

The beau­ti­ful Hip­peas­trum Ap­ple Blos­som

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