Best Audience: Gardeners and Lovers of the Garden, Herbalists, Aromatherapists
Kathi Keville’s extensive experience as an herbalist and aromatherapist paired with her gardening expertise make The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being an inspiring read. The first 110 pages or so dive into a variety of topics surrounding gardening with aromatherapy in mind, such as the history of gardening for scent and how polinators and pests interact with scented plants; using scent as medicine of the body, mind, and soul; how to design a scent-themed garden and the practicalities of growing scented plants in a multitude of conditions; and lastly how to harvest and use the fruits (and leaves, flowers, and even roots) of your efforts.
The second one hundred forty-some odd pages are the real gems for an aromatherapy-fanatic like myself. That’s where she dives into individual profiles of over 80 different scented plants. For each, she includes some basic information on zone, soil, and sun conditions best suited to the plant alongside a lovey and detailed description of the aromas to expect, traditional uses, and, when relevant, the science that supports some of those uses. While she’s got many of the usual suspects you’ll find in most modern herbals, like lavender and rose, she also covers a whole variety of plants we herbalists often relegate to the “just landscaping” category, like lamb’s ear and rue. I read that section with pen and paper in hand…and I can hardly wait until the next gardening season to get started transforming my urban farm into a heavenly scented Eden.
If you’re planning a garden, making updates to an existing garden, or would just love to add a few potted plants to your stoop, The Aromatherapy Garden is a sweet and earthy exploration of the possibilities that await when you let your nose lead the way.
The Bottom Line: The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being by Kathi Keville has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.
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