Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Garden Delights

[Photo my own]

I'd read that carnations used to have scent -- a very good scent, in fact -- but until the other day when I came across an exotic-looking bunch, I had never experienced this for myself.

The flowers I found were spicy but not cloying and made me wonder, in general, what gardens smelled like centuries ago. 

Wild and semi-wild gardens are what I personally gravitate to, but there is a charmingly structured and recently restored Elizabethan garden at Kenilworth Castle famous for its use of scent.  The castle itself has essentially remained in a state of wonderfully romantic ruin since the 17th century. Before then, though, in 1563, Elizabeth I gave the place to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (aka the Joseph Fiennes character in the visually stunning 1998 movie, Elizabeth). Although not addressed in the film, the castle and surrounding gardens seem to have ultimately been a significant part of their relationship. 

You can get a good overview of the grounds, including the Aviary, here, but this BBC program also includes an up close glimpse of the garden that will make you wish Cate Blanchett could've visited it in the 90s movie. If the time frame of the plot had been a bit different, that is. Apparently more than half a dozen historic castles were used throughout filming, but oh what the production team could have also done with Kenilworth...   


home before dark said...

I always thought carnations had a good scent. One of my favorite shrubs is the Mohawk viburnam. It blooms here in early April. It smells of carnation and vanilla. After what can be a snowy, frozen mess of winter, it blooms and fragrances my garden with the hope of new beginnings.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I've always seen candles with 'carnation' scent and always wondered why.... what were people thinking? Scent is such a wonderful thing!