What first drew you in to gardening? What was your initial inspiration to spend time cultivating and caring for plants? For many of us, the love and admiration for a beautiful garden, began as children. When we were smaller and the world felt bigger, we experienced sights and smells that reserved a special place in our memories. This year, to invoke those wonderful memories, we’re creating nostalgic gardens, that mean more.
One of the benefits to recreating past gardens today is that horticultural efforts have come a long way. Breeders have been able to provide the classics and our own favourites with major upgrades throughout the years. Plants are now more disease resistant with bigger blooms and more intense scents. Varieties are a plenty and are readily available for different spaces, environments and seasons. So you’ll be creating nostalgic gardens that not only look better and brighter, but are also less hassle than those of your yesteryears (odds are you don’t really remember the difficulties past generations had though!).
Smells of Nostalgic Gardens
Did you know that your sense of smell is the strongest and quickest memory inducer? A particular smell can send you to another place or another time. That being said, we wanted our first section to be all about the smells. While everyone’s experiences are different, here are a few of our favourites that will make an appearance in our gardens:
- Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris): Even though they bloom for a relatively short period of time each year, their beautiful scents are impactful. Consider varieties like “New Age™ Lavender” which is resistant to powdery mildew or Lilac Pearl Potion™ for smaller, more compact spaces (like container gardens)
- Roses (Rosa spp.): Roses are beloved, we love receiving them. Their sweet smell is uncomparable. However, in the past not all gardeners would agree that they enjoyed growing them. They were particularly susceptible to various time-consuming problems and difficulties. Fast-forward to present day, and we have varieties like the Reminiscent™ Pink Rose or the At Last® Rose, both bred to be easier to deal with, but just as beautiful without losing any of their memorable scent.
- Lavender (L. angustifolia x L. latifolia): Without a doubt, the scent of lavender is romantic. It can conjure memories of simple and hot summers. All things considered though, the conditions for lavender had to be ideal and there was little flexibility. Now, we look to varieties like: Blue Spear which is a stunning English lavender and said to be one of the showiest or, to the large and fragrant flowers of the Spanish lavender: Violeta™ to have this crowd-favourite without the fuss. Also, did you know that we aren’t the only ones that love the smell of lavender? Bees do too! It’s a great pollinator plant for this very reason (if you want to know more about pollinators, read about here)
Sights of the Past
Equally important in our nostalgic gardens, we have beautiful colours and stunning blooms. Did you know that a healthy dose of nostalgia has many positive benefits? From boosting your mood to making your more optimistic and even being able to help promote a sense of self. A little nostalgia goes a long way. These show-stoppers have etched themselves into our core memories, and they’re due for a comeback.
- Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.): even though the blooms are technically made up of many small flowers, hydrangeas always looked enormous. If you’re looking to bring back more bloom than foliage look to the Puffer Fish®Panicle Hydrangea. And if you’re working with a smaller area, then look to the Pop Star® Bigleaf Hydrangea which is a compact hydrangea.
- Phlox (Phlox spp.): before “cottage core” became a highly prized aesthetic, phlox was an old-world perennial found in and by cottages alike. In order to enhance that nostalgic feel, for large gardens we love the Coral Super Ka-Pow Phlox and for compact areas Younique® Roundabout Phlox.
- Peonies (Paeonia spp.): Last but certainly not least, we have flowers that easily could belong in both our categories. While most peonies require a good deal of room, the Peony Tenuifolia ‘Little Erna’ is a rock garden variety that is small but still produced breathtaking blooms (and has that classic scent).
May your nostalgic gardens fill you with warm and harmonious feelings.
Who knows, maybe in several years the young people who are experiencing your gardens will have want to bask in those nostalgic feelings themselves. Either way we wish you a wonderful planning season ahead, if you’re looking for more inspiration, find it in The Wild Blog! If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to receive our 2023 Trend Report which includes our predictions for all things home, garden and lifestyle in 2023. Ps. We’d love to connect, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest!