It is important that all gardeners take the time every now and then to literally stop and smell the flowers. Fragrant plants can offer one of the rewards for all our hard work in our gardens. All too often, in the modern world, it can be difficult to find the time to enjoy the gardens that we have worked so hard to create. But a polytunnel can make it easier to create recreational spaces that we can enjoy when we do have time available.
Often, we may only be able to enjoy our gardens in the evenings, after we finish work for the day. A polytunnel allows gardeners to create an evening recreation space that can be enjoyed even after the temperatures outside begin to drop and the light begins to fade.
Why Choose Fragrant Plants for Your Polytunnel?
In an evening garden, we may wish to consider plants which offer delights to other senses – not just our sight. Fragrant plants can be hugely evocative, helping us to relive memories, or to form new ones. They can help us to feel calm and relaxed. Fragrant plants can also help us as gardeners by attracting a range of beneficial insects and other wildlife that can help us in our efforts to grow our own food.
Fragrant Plants for An Evening Polytunnel Garden:
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
White flowered jasmine not only smells divine, it will also gleam in the moonlight and is a good wildlife choice, attracting moths and beneficial night flying insects. A warm, sunny and sheltered spot is ideal for jasmine, so this could do very well in a polytunnel.
Honeysuckle emits its wonderful aroma come evening and is a moth-friendly choice. The smell is evocative of long, lazy evenings and will be a lovely addition to your evening garden. Honeysuckle will thrive in most moist yet free-draining soils and as a climber, could be trained to climb on the crop bars in your polytunnel.
Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda)
Other climbers with a lovely evening scent are Wisteria floribunda cultivars. These can be trained to climb to the crop bars in a polytunnel in the same way that they might be trained over a pergola or another garden structure and could be a good choice for a magical evening polytunnel garden.
Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
These pretty pink or white flowers have a lovely sweet fragrance that is most pronounced in the evening. These are also a good plant for attracting bees and other pollinators to your polytunnel.
Tobacco Plant (Nicotiana sylvestris)
These tall, elegant plants are also excellent for attracting bees and other beneficial insects, and also have an intense fragrance, particularly in the evening. They could be another good choice for a polytunnel that is enjoyed in the evening hours. They can be grown at the back of a growing bed or in large pots or other containers.
Do you enjoy spending time in your polytunnel of an evening? Let us know how you use your polytunnel in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.