Chances are that when you sit in your garden on a comfortable garden bench you have gone outside to relax, shell peas, read a book or watch visiting birds. Plant and flower scents that drift towards you on the air will be most welcome and an added bonus. So why not make sure that everything you plant near your outdoor sitting area will waft you a delicious smell that will make you even more relaxed and happy than you already are.

Scented plants are not difficult to track down or to grow. For example you could place a pretty three seat metal bench under a wrought iron arch that you could have positively dripping with old fashioned climbing roses, honeysuckle and the nearly overwhelming sweet flowering white jasmine.

The combination of these scents on a warm summer’s day could almost overwhelm you and, even more so, on the late evening air. Another way to ‘scent your bench’ is to have a small border next to it or if it is on a patio or terrace then lots of terracotta pots will suffice. All you need to do then is make sure that this special growing space is almost overplanted with masses of perennials and annuals and bedding plants chosen purely for their scent, even at the expense of colour or form. Ideal plants for this purpose would be things such as the tall nicotiania affinis (white tobacco plants) old varieties of pinks, peony plants, the bright mauve ‘cherry pie’, lavender, lily of the valley, bluebells, wallflowers, sweet peas, petunias, thyme, oregano, violets, pansies, geraniums and regal lilies.

The latest research has shown that inhaling the scent of flowers and even leaves can drastically improve our well being and indeed general health. So why not give your garden a scent-sational makeover and plant as many aromatic and scented plants as you can fit in next to or near your favourite garden bench.