As I lean over the row of marigolds just beginning to bloom, I remember my Dad’s garden.
I remember summer days that seemed to go on forever, and the end of that forever when school started with yet a new forever.
I recall the garden in its end of summer state, with marigolds blooming along the edge and dahlias and zinnias tied to stakes. I remember tall tomato plants and fresh green beans, bell peppers and cucumbers of all sizes.
Seeing a row of scentless zinnias doesn’t evoke these kinds of memories, nor does seeing a dahlia blooming in any garden.
But the marigolds, with their distinctive scent that can only be described as that of a marigold, do.
I don’t need scientific studies to tell me why this is, though this phenomenon of scent and memories has been studied by scientists. I just know how it is. I know that scent is the key that unlocks our memories. Even blindfolded, if I smelled a marigold, it would bring back these memories of my Dad’s garden once again.
So if you want your garden to be memorable to those who visit it, consider the scents of the plants and blooms you include. Then when those who visit your garden leave, they will take with them the key, the scent of a particular flower or plant, that they can use later to unlock their memories of your garden.
Scent is the key to unlocking the memories of the garden.