Container Garden Ideas: Scents from the Spa (#002)

Recently I was asked to put together a few container gardens for an educational program focusing on the five senses, and jumped at the chance to experiment! I hadn’t done much mixing of flowers and herbs in the same pot before, so I wasn’t really sure what combination I would try. While I was pretty sure I would use Mint, Lavender and Lambs Ears, for their smell, taste, and touch-ability, the other selections were all up in the air. My goal was to create a “touchable” pot that would knock the socks off anyone who would open a window nearby and catch a whiff!

img 0179 225x300 Container Garden Ideas: Scents from the Spa (#002)

I headed through the nursery isles that featured perennials, and herbs, and bought Pincushion FlowerFoxgloveGoldilocksBee Balm,LavenderLambs EarsMint and a tiny sprig of Rosemary (which I kept shuffling around in the open flatbed cart until I felt like I had a potential arrangement in mind). I bought 4 inch pots of everything but the herbs, which I purchased as small starter sprigs so that I could fit a lot in one pot. I purchased one Pincushion Flower, Lavender plant and Rosemary sprig, and two of everything else. The Goldilocks really had no scent that I could discover, but their texture and color were great, and as draping plants they soften the edges of the pot with their foliage.

What I ended up with was a dynamic combination of shades, textures, and scents that reminded me of the herbal treatments and teas at a spa I visited recently! Anytime you can get that feeling without the price, you know you’ve scored big! During the planting process, the scents and the oils in the plant leaves started filling the air, releasing an amazing combination that I can only describe as the smell of the best possible herbal soap. I imagine that many of these plants by a front door would bring welcome breezes through the house whenever the screen door is in place, especially immediately following watering.  Since this is a “Senses” container, kids do tend to gravitate toward it to feel the Lambs Ears, and love to feel useful by collecting the herbs! If you are looking for a summer craft for the kids, and want to give them an area to be creative with, this is a great idea for your patio, or around your garage.

Tips for re-creating this container garden: I would recommend Foxglove as the center plant, with the immature Bee Balm in the back (because once it starts growing, it will dwarf everything else). Since all of these plants are incredibly hardy, they will require no fussing over them, but as the summer winds on, they will need trimming back to keep them in line. The great thing about this combination is that many of these plants are edible, so finding something to do with the stems you prune should be no problem at all! They are all perennial as well, so if you like this scent combo, you can repeat it again next year, or add them to your garden bed. The only con for this pot is that these plants want to spread like there is no tomorrow, so start calling people now in preparation of cuttings and juvenile plants for sharing!

Your thoughts: Do you have any dynamic scent combo’s?  If you send me pictures of your favorite container gardens, or if you try this one out, I’ll be happy to post it for everyone to see!

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  1. Fred says:

    Very cool indeed! I can almost smell it from here…

  2. My kids would love this. Of course, daddy is the green thumb, so I’ll have to send it on to him!

  3. admin says:

    Kids always need Daddy time – which frees you up for Mommy-by-herself time, which is worth gold, I’m sure!

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