Scented Plants

100 hour training - Learn to Identify and grow scented plants : roses, lavender, herbs, etc - propagate, cultivate, harvest and use fragrant plants

Course Code: BHT229
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to identify, grow (propagation and culture), and use different types of scented plants.



You will find out how to harvest and dry scented plants, and through practical assignments actually make a whole range of exciting herb crafts (e.g. pot pourri, soaps, candles). Learn also how to landscape a scented garden and expand your knowledge of dozens of types of scented plants.


After Your Studies:

  • Enhance your skills for home and work
  • Follow your passion
  • Start your own business with scented plants
  • Design gardens with scented plants
  • Transform existing gardens into something quite special.

Many of our common garden plants have subtle scents, and others stronger and even overpowering fragrances.
Scented plants can be a delight when used the right way, and in the right place, but used inappropriately they can be overpowering.

Learn to use scented plants appropriately.



Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • How Scented plants are used
    • Types of scented plants
    • Plant Naming System and pronouncing plant names
    • Scented Plant Families
    • Resources and Networking
    • Plant reviews
  2. Culture
    • Soils
    • Soil Composition, soil types, improving soils
    • Soil Mixes, porring media and component
    • Plant Nutrients and fertilisers
    • Plant Health -identifying and controlling problems
    • Weeds and weed control
    • Watering plants
    • Planting, staking, mulching, pruning, protection from wind, salt air, etc.
    • Plant reviews
    • Propagation
    • Methods of propagating this group of plants; creating a scented garden; growing in pots, inside, or in the open ground.
    • Plant reviews
  3. Crafts from Scented Plants and Herbs
    • Herbs for cooking
    • Howe to dry herbs
    • Pot pourri, scented candles, tussie mussies, sachets, etc.
    • Cosmetic uses -Hair rinses, baths, skin care
    • Candle Making
    • Exotic herb oils
    • Scented Plants in Pots
    • Lavender crafts
    • Rose Crafts
    • Plant reviews
  4. Harvesting and Processing
    • Harvesting hints
    • General rules for harvesting flowers
    • Storing harvested material
    • Freezing
    • Deterioration
    • Bud harvesting
    • Shelf life
    • Post harvest treatments
    • Chemical treatments
    • Harvesting and grading carnations
    • Harvesting and drying lavender
    • Harvesting Herbs
    • Harvesting leaves, roots, fruit, seed
    • Harvesting for medicinal use
    • Plant reviews
  5. Commonly Grown Varieties
    • Listing dozens of scented garden plants
    • Several plants are dealt with in detail, including: Carnations, Roses, Gardenias, Heliotropium, Murraya, Pelargonium and Daphne
    • Scented Flowers -Alstroemeria, Antihrrinum, Chrysanthemum, Freesia, Iris, Narcissus, Orchids, Matthiola,
    • Plant reviews
  6. Other Important Scented Plants
    • Lilium
    • Fragrant Australian natives
    • Boronias
    • Other Scented Plants for Temperate Areas
    • Plant reviews
  7. Commercial Applications
    • The Business of Scented Plants
    • The most commercially grown species
    • Herbal Teas
    • Production Plan
    • Making a scented plant operation
    • Standards
    • Farm Layout
    • Marketing your produce
    • How to sell
    • Creating a Scented Garden
    • Drawing a Plan
    • Garden Design
  8. Special Assignment
    • Students must complete a special assignment on one selected plant or group.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Know the plant naming system and the uses of scented plants, indicate the genus, species and variety in a selection of plant scientific names.
    • There are many ways you might classify scented plants.
    • By plant part -scented flower, scented foliage, scented fruit, scented root, etc.
    • By plant group -scented bulbs, scented climbers, scented trees, scented shrubs, etc.
    • By type of scent -strong scent, subtle scent, sweet scent, foul scent, etc.
    • By use -edible herbs, plants for landscape use, for use in perfumes & cosmetics, etc.
    • By plant family -plants which have similar botanical characteristics.
  • Identify groups of scented plants according to families and the characteristics of those families
    • Many scented plants tend to fall into one of the several particular plant families. By becoming familiar with these families, you will develop a foundation for understanding and identifying scented plants.
  • Understand the cultural requirements of a range of scented plants
  • Manage the health of Scented Plants
    • Prevention is always the best cure. Try to keep the environment friendly to the helpful insects, a healthy soil structure with added compost, and maintain suitable environmental conditions for the plant. If you don’t have the right plant in the right place, they tend to struggle more.
    • Heat, cold, wind, rain, frost, shade, pollution and other environmental problems can have disastrous effects on plants. Learn how it affects them.
  • Harvest and process a range of scented plants.
  • Make a range of products and uses from scented plants.
    • dried herbs
    • potpourri
    • cosmetic products
    • lavender crafts
    • rose crafts
    • other scented plant uses.
  • Explain harvest and post harvest techniques for the production of scented crops.
    • If you are to reap the benefits of quality produce, crops must be handled properly during harvest and post harvest. The various methods for harvesting herbs is mentioned.
  • Identify and Cultivate a range of the most commonly grown scented plants
    • Many scented plants are also commonly known as herbs however there are many that are not herbs but still have a wonderful scent and should be considered for inclusion in a scented garden
  • Compare the cultural requirements of fifteen different scented Australian Native plants.
  • Discuss commercial applications of scented plants.
    • Many species of scented plants are grown commercially for their:
    • Cut flowers, Oils, Foliage, Roots, and Tubers
    • Some producers set up to specifically supply commercial growers (i.e. producers of oil or bulk flowers) with tube-stock or grow scented plants for specialist retail nurseries.
  • Investigate operation options, farming options. How to do market research
  • Plan the creation of a scented garden.

What You Will Do

  • Make up a list of at least 50 sources of information, about the identification and use of scented plants.
  • Obtain one soil sample typical of your local area; name the soil and test the drainage of the soil.
  • Obtain (or make up) a potting mix appropriate for growing herbs in.
  • Make up a propagating mix, appropriate for striking seed or cuttings in.
  • Visit a nursery or garden growing scented plants.
  • Obtain any materials which are needed for propagating scented plants by grafting, stem cuttings, root cuttings, aerial layering and seed.
  • Harvest and dry parts from at least three different herbs.
  • Make the following scented products: pot pourri, a cosmetic product, a herb vinegar, a herb salt and one other craft product.
  • Make a bottle of either herb oil.
  • Prepare hot and cold herb teas.
  • Prepare one edible product, using a part of a scented plant for flavouring.
  • Produce one sample of a scented oil, using fresh harvested material from a scented plant.
  • Visit a general nursery. Note what herb seeds, and herb plants are commonly available.
  • Research the cultural requirements of some (or all) of the following genera: Viola, Viburnum, Lonicera, Jasminum, Daphne and Gardenia. Find information on Magnolias, Lilac,Conifers, Scented Camellias, Citrus, Convallaria (Lily of the Valley), Lilium, Hyacinthus, Forsythia and Michelia.
  • Visit a scented garden.
  • Visit and analyse the business operations of at least two herb enterprise.
  • Design a garden featuring scented plants.
  • Compare the commercial potential of three different types of herb enterprises, in your locality (based on the set task).
  • Propagate a scented plant
  • Prepare 48 plant review sheets of scented plants.

Why Fragrance?


Fragrance is for many people, one of the most enchanting characteristics of a garden. Even though some varieties of roses, herbs and cottage plants are not strongly scented, many are. Some release fragrance from the flowers, others from the foliage. Some plants will smell strongly at certain times of the year, irrespective of where you plant them, while other plants need to be brushed or crushed to release the fragrant oils, and as such must be planted between stepping stones or spilling over the edges of garden beds.

What is the Right Scent?
You should choose carefully when deciding what scented plants to grow. Too much scent or the wrong combination of fragrance can be overpowering, or not as pleasant as it otherwise might be. Consider the time of year when a plant releases its scent. Daphne and gardenia for instance, only smell when they are in flower. Other plants are most fragrant in warmer weather. If you want fragrance all year round, you should select and plant a sequence of varieties to do just that. If you wish to grow two varieties which produce different strong scents at the same time, plant them at opposite ends of the garden so their scents don't intermingle and conflict.


Some Scents Can be a Problem

Some scented plants can be too much for some people, causing allergic reactions and sometimes serious sinus issues. When you use fragrant plants, be careful of the most fragrant species, if you haven't used them before. Doing a little research into allergy plants before planting a garden is always a wise thing.


Scented Plants for Night Time
Some plants rely on night flying insects to pollinate their flowers, and as such, their flowers are most scented in the evening. These plants offer the enticing possibility of creating a garden which comes alive with fragrance as the sun sets while remaining relatively unobtrusive during the day.

Abronia latifolia: a coastal perennial 10cm x 50cm; flowers summer. Prefers sandy soil neutral pH well drained) soil and a position in full sun.

Ipomea alba syn. Calonyction aculeatum: climber growing to 6- 30m (vigorous and weedy in some area); large, white strongly scented flowers- summer/autumn.

Dianthus caryophyllus (pinks); small perennials (many cultivars) strong clove scent; flowers in spring/summer. 

Hesperis matronalis: (sweet rocket); 60cm tall annual with strongly scented flowers in spring/summer.

Jasminum officinale: (jasmine) – strong climber with very strongly scented flowers in early spring – can become weedy in some areas.

Lonicera caprifolium: (honeysuckle);climber that grows to 6m and can be invasive in some areas. Honey scented flowers appear in late summer/autumn.

Lychnis vespertina (rose campion): perennial low growing plants that self-seeds readily. Rose pink flowers in spring.

Matthiola bicornis: hardy annual with lilac, strongly scented flowers that appear in spring.

Mirabilis jalapa: herbaceous perennial that is treated as an annual in cool climates. Flowers appear in summer; various colours: pink, purple, red, white and yellow

Nicotiana affinis var. grandiflora: tobacco plant  90cm t0 1.2m tall annual– this is a weed in some countries; strongly scented white flowers appear from mid-summer through to autumn.

Oenothera biennis: to 1m; also considered a weed in some areas; a biennial plant that produces creamy yellow flowers in its 2nd year.

Silene nutans: herbaceous perennial 30-80cm tall; pinkish white flowers appear at night during spring.

Zaluzianskya capensis (night phlox): 30-60cm tall annual; pink and white flowers appear in late summer through to early autumn.

What You Might Expect from this Course

Most people, even good gardeners who know plants, tend to create fragrance in their gardens by accident.

This course will give you the knowledge, understanding and awareness to use scented plants in a more planned way; taking into account what creates the scent, and the location, the intensity and impact of the scent you are creating, in order to provide an intentional rather than accidental impact upon those who visit a garden. 

It is a course that has potentially great benefit for:

  • Garden Designers
  • Garden or Parks Managers
  • Landscape Contractors
  • Nurserymen
  • Gardeners
  • Garden Writers
  • Horticulturists
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.

Long-term member since 1986.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.

Marie Beermann

Marie has more than 10 years experience in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M. Sc. Hort., Dip. Bus., Cert. Ldscp.

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Leading horticultural expert in Australia.
Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (c

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