A Guide to Growing and Using Aromatic Herbs

Whilst many flowers produce scent, herbs are particularly aromatic. The production of perfume by plants has two main functions, firstly to attract pollinating insects and secondly to protect the plant from pests. Why some plants produce perfume and others not, is sometime down to the colour of the flowers, bees like blue flowers, which often have little scent on the other hand purple, lilac and pink flowers are often heavily scented to attract butterflies.

Aromatic herbs grow best in sheltered areas, such as enclosed gardens and patios, which contain their fragrance. The most heavily fragranced herbs are those that flower at night such as Evening Primrose, Mignonette and Sweet Rocket.

Aromatic Herbs also use their scent to deter pests, ant hate mint, so plant some near the house to deter them from entering. Other aromatic herbs such as Tansy repel fruit flies, ants and beetles so make excellent companion plants in the vegetable garden. The benefits of planting aromatic herbs as companion plants is well documented and no respectable organic vegetable plot would be without lavender, santolina, marigolds and yarrow.

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