Have you heard of scent therapy? It is based on the principle that the right scent can positively impact your wellbeing – and, thinking about it, it makes sense! There are many times when I’ve caught a whiff of petrichor and felt instantly cosy on an autumn day, or walked into a rose garden and an overwhelming sense of calmness has come over me.
So, could the sweet-smelling Trachelospermum Star of Milano be the scent that makes you go “mmmmm”?
How to grow Trachelospermum Star of Milano
Flowering time: May to September
Location: Ground cover, trellises, containers
Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil
Light: Prefers full sun but will tolerate semi-shade
Size: 3m height, 2m width
What’s different about this plant?
There are many garden plants that are notable for producing a delightful scent – think lavender and daphne! However, there aren’t many with which you can create an entire wall of scent. That’s where the wondrous creeping ability of Trachelospermum comes in.
With this plant, you can train it up a trellis to cover an entire garden wall, and in late spring through to the end of summer, you’ll be blessed with a gorgeous scent from its soft pink blooms every time you walk by.
Not only that, but this plant is evergreen, so it’ll create beautiful coverage of walls and trellises all year round. It features glossy, dark green foliage with creamy white variegations – a perfect non-toxic alternative to ivy.
Scent therapy – what is it?
Smells appeal to our limbic system – the part of the brain involved in behavioural and emotional responses. In doing so, certain scents can create and evoke memories.
Think of your favourite meal; you probably fondly remember the smell of it. If you come across that smell anywhere in the world, you’ll think of eating your favourite meal, and maybe even crave it.
When it comes to scent therapy, you (or a therapist) can use scents that appeal to your positive emotions to lift your spirits. This can be used to combat low mood, or even help you relax after a stressful period in your life. These scents often come in the form of essential oils or candles, which offer a strong concentration to allow you to get the full benefit of that scent.
If you don’t have essential oils or candles handy, you could try using flowers for your scent therapy! Try placing your favourite scented flowers in a room that you use often so that you can smell them every time you enter. Or, why not create a tranquil seating area in your garden, right next to your Trachelospermum Star of Milano?
Where can you plant Trachelospermum Star of Milano?
I’ve already talked about using Trachelospermum Star of Milano to create a covering on a garden wall, but it can also be trailed up a standalone trelli or garden arch. It can also be planted in a container and left to cascade over the sides, or trailed up an obelisk. A more surprising use of the plant is to place it in your borders and let it creep across the soil as ground cover!
Where can you buy Trachelospermum Star of Milano?
Tracehlospermum Star of Milano is available from Marshall’s in the UK.
Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe.
See every Plant of the Month here.