Miserden Nursery

Scent-sational vineries
May 2016

As some of you know, we have two impressive vineries on the nursery. Built alongside our elegant glasshouses in the 1920s, they were used to grow grapes, nectarines and flowers for the Miserden estate house.

These days the vineries are no less exotic, especially on a warm day when the air becomes thick with the perfume of jasmine scrambling up the vinery walls and the aroma released from the foliage of shrubby salvias growing in the borders inside.

An intoxicating journey indeed! And one which doesn’t end there, as the vineries are also home to our range of scented perlargoniums (also known as scented geraniums). These intriguing plants come in many different shapes and sizes. They bloom in spring and early summer and while the flowers are not as striking as some of their fellow perlargonium family members, they grow in profusion. However, it’s their foliage which is the real draw.

Rub the leaves and depending on the type, you will be rewarded with scents ranging from rose to citrus, mint and spice. You may even experience a cocktail of fragrances. Pelargonium ‘Chocolate Peppermint’ says it all (a particular scent will always be a very individual and personal experience, so dare to come and take a sniff!).

Nearly all species of scented geranium come from South Africa. They were exceptionally popular with the Victorians who used them as houseplants to fragrance their rooms. These days geranium oil is used as an ingredient in the perfume-making industry and in aromatherapy too.

While the scented pelargoniums are a pleasant nasal experience, the regal pelargoniums are undoubtedly a complete feast for the eyes. Also found in the vinery, they are a riot of colour in shades of mauve, pink, purple or white. There are multi-coloured types too and with their jolly disposition they brighten the greyest of these late spring days! 

Both types of pelargonium can be grown as either pot plants in the house or glasshouse or in a container in the garden during the summer months. With regular feeds of high potash they should look good all through the season.

They’re not hardy though so before the first frosts, bring them indoors. Give them a warm spot with bright direct sunlight and ensure they have excellent drainage. If anything, keep them on the dry side and they should continue to thrive for many years.
Scented pelargonium 'Lavender Lindy' lives up to its name with a lovely lavender aroma.   Regal pelargonium
'Monkswood Rhapsody'
  Regal Pelargonium

Regal pelargoniums on parade in the Vinery

Miserden Nursery