Fragrances of a spring garden, or What plants and what smell in the spring?
Nature gave me a sensitive nose, probably with a hint of life among plants. But I didn’t understand the hints, and for a long time I lived in an ecologically unhealthy city, among chemical odors that were very unpleasant for me. The only joy in the city streets was the abundance of Siberian berry apple trees blooming in spring (the most frost-resistant in the world!). A very, very former mayor loved the smell of apple blossoms. Now everything fell into place - we live in the Kuban, in the foothills, where I create my fragrant garden. About why smells are needed, what they consist of, and how to breathe in the spring, I will tell in this article.
Essentially, smell is information. Dogs could tell a lot of interesting things about this. Smells are no less informative than sound or picture. For example, by smell, you can identify some diseases without testing: diabetes, kidney disease, oncology, Alzheimer's disease. These are noticeable smells that many people feel quite simply do not know what they mean.
For primitive people, the world of smells was an open book, but then they transferred the responsibility for reading it to dogs, as their constant companions. Now dogs understand and know how to use, but we do not. For example, dogs leave odorous marks, and people are forced to paint “here was ...”
Owners of animals also know how fear smells - an animal in a state of stress smells strongly, no matter what shampoos they would wash it with. People, by the way, in this state smell no better. That is why ill-bred dogs rush at those (people and animals) who are afraid of them. The smell gives out.
In the plant world, it’s even more interesting: smells are not only information, but also a means of communication. The plant, which was attacked by pests, releases signal substances into the air and into the soil, penetrated by mycorrhiza of symbiotic fungi, “notifying” the neighbors to prepare them. Neighbors begin to accumulate substances to control the pest. Of those that we can smell, these are coniferous, mint, lemon balm, thyme, thyme, lavender, etc.
It is no secret for gardeners that the smell of a disturbed plant becomes stronger, so this alarm goes off. The plant does not know that the gardener weeds grass under the kindness of soul beneath him, and regards the actions as wrecking.
The aroma of flowers is also information for pollinators - "everything is ready, pollen has ripened, there is nectar, we are waiting." That is why, for many plants, the aroma is invisible to us, and for some it is unpleasant. This is not designed for the human nose, but for attractiveness for specific pollinators: bees, flies, butterflies, insects, little things.
You may notice that the bee-pollinated plants, which have a pink, red color, smell especially strongly: the red colors and shades of the bee do not perceive, it is necessary to attract the smell. But the bright yellow dandelions have a special smell and nothing - the bees with the recognition of yellow color are fine, they will not fly past the dandelion.
Flowers pollinated by flies have odors unpleasant for humans (many aronniks, kirkazona). For beetles, plants with colors do not bother, it is often white, but the smells are strong, sweet, sometimes with a touch of fermentation.
Moreover, in wet and cold weather, even blooming bee-pollinated flowers smell several times weaker - the bees do not fly, there is no one to signal. Flowers pollinated by nocturnal insects begin to smell in the evening. This technology has been proven for thousands of years.
What are smells made of?
The aroma of a flower in nature is never perceived in isolation. The aroma of leaves, stems, other plants growing nearby, the earth, surrounding objects is added to it. But if you select the essential oils from the flowers and decompose them into components, you get a very interesting picture.
For example, the composition of lavender essential oils includes linalyl acetate, linalool, terpineol, coumarin, cineole. The composition of sage essential oil is linalyl acetate, linalool, limonene and other terpenes. That is, the basis of the smell is one, and shades are added to it. As in perfumery, which, however, borrowed the idea in nature. The aroma carriers are from 1 to 3 fragrant substances, the rest are supplements.
The basis of the smell of lily of the valley is linalool. He also participates in the formation of the smell of orange tree, white acacia, mahonia, magnolia, jasmine, lavender, ylang-ylang, geranium and many others.
The basis of the lemon smell - citral, limonene, decyl aldehyde - is present in the colors of mint, lemon balm, laurel leaves, flowers of geranium, magnolia, etc.
But the basis of the smell of moist earth is geosmin, and its soil bacteria from the genus streptomycin (from which medicines are obtained) and blue-green algae produce it.
The number of simple odors in nature is not so great, everything else is a combination. About how more than 150 thousand words are formed from 33 letters. And music, in general, from 7 basic sounds. And there are only seven colors of the spectrum.
What does the spring garden smell like?
Spring is the most “smelling” time of the year: thawed earth smells, grows foliage, tree bark, open buds, first flowers. Both plants and all micro- and macro-inhabitants of the garden inform about the beginning of a new stage of life.
Among other things, plants at the beginning of growth and at the beginning of flowering release a huge amount of volatile products into the air, trying to protect themselves from the awakening pathogenic microflora. The spring air of the garden is also healing.
The very first spring flowers do not have a noticeable smell from afar, you need to stick your nose directly into the flower in order to feel its delicate aroma. It's bright blue spellsmodest whites snowdropsmulti-colored crocusesgraceful kandykibright primroseshaggy Corydalis. But for the most part, these small life-lovers will add a unique touch to the aroma of an awakening garden.
If there is a garden coniferouswalking by, it’s nice to touch them - they will respond with a portion of volatile and wonderful coniferous aroma.
In those regions where wintering sage and thymeAn extraordinary pleasure to process bushes after winter. We have wintering and ordinary thyme with a rather strong pungent odor, and variegated lemon thyme with a more delicate fresh aroma.
A little later, primroses blooming fragrant violet it already has a more noticeable smell, it is not necessary to poke your nose into her curtains, you can breathe its smell at a certain distance.
Early flowering shrubs are pulled to bloom: daphnefragrant from afar; Forsythia with an unobtrusive smell and catchy flowering, and you with a very delicate aroma of fluffy inflorescences, mahonia with lily of the valley smell of bright yellow hats.
Regions with a mild climate, of course, have more opportunities to grow fragrant shrubs and trees blooming in spring - skimmy, witch hazel, corylopsis, fragrant viburnum, sarcococcus, magnolias.
Then comes the time daffodils - a delicate fragrant miracle - and sweet-smelling hyacinths. This is, as it were, the height of spring. Crumble poplar budsadding bitterness to the fresh spring air.
Bloom tulips, coloring the garden with bright colors. The smell of them, of course, is rather weak, but in mass it will be noticeable. Shading them bright blue fragrant muscari organically complement the bouquet. White and pink haze with a slightly bitter aroma is supported by tulips almond steppe and steppe cherry.
In the shady corners it smells like honey lungwort, in sunny areas - white caps alissum.
By the end of spring, the aromas of the orchard enter the general choir: cherry plum smells like bird cherry, smells of tenderness fill the garden blooming plum and cherry. Apple tree I don’t want to describe the fragrance, they just want to breathe.
Itself bird cherry, bringing with its flowering "bird cherry cold", fills the air with light sweetness with bitterness. But the smells of pear and hawthorn flowers do not seem attractive to me at all. I endure pears because of the fruits, and the healthy hawthorn tree hanging over the fence - because of the bees. They are delighted with a flowering tree.
Decorative bowsif you do not touch the stems and leaves, which immediately give out a portion of volatile with onion odors, they smell very attractive. Spring blooming rhododendrons complement the aroma of the garden. Finish the spring lilies of the valleyfragrant to all the surroundings, phlox spread, swimsuitsfragrant dwarf irises. And of course, lilacs from mockers - enchanting finale of spring flower riot.
Spring garden every new day gives new aromas and compositions, celebrating the beginning of a new life.
Populating a garden with aromatic plants requires certain conditions to be met. Not all fragrant plants are beautiful "in every way." Indeed, nature does not care about our sense of smell and comfort, but solves some of its problems.
Mentioned daphne has a different name - wolfthat in the Russian tradition speaks of danger. Everything is poisonous in the plant - bark, leaves, flowers and fruits. So, despite the amazing smell, you need to be very careful with the plant. If there are young children, it’s better not to start Daphne at all.
Insidious and lily of the valleydespite its fragile beauty. The plant is also poisonous. At the same time, as often happens, and healingly: lily of the valley tincture is used for heart neurosis. But a bouquet of lilies of the valley in the bedroom can provide a persistent and severe headache. The plant itself grows quite aggressively - it has a place not in a flower bed with other flowers, but somewhere in a forest corner, limited, for example, by a path.
At galanthus (snowdrops) daffodils and hyacinths bulbs are poisonous - if someone comes up with the idea of eating them. Rhododendrons completely poisonous; eating them is also not recommended.
Perception of aromas is very individual. In addition, different types and varieties of plants smell differently. Therefore, when selecting fragrant plants for your garden, it would be nice to smell them first.
Plants with a strong aroma and flowering at the same time are very undesirable to plant nearby - the composition can be completely disharmonious. It is better to enjoy each smell individually.