Why do spring flowers smell so nice?

Lovely smelling spring flowers peonies

It’s around this time of year that we see all the bees and butterflies emerge from their hibernation and they are buzzing and fluttering around gardens and greens. These insects are in search of food and are attracted by the colour, shape and scent of flowers.

I have plenty of bumblebees that fly in mid morning for ‘breakfast’. They fly in to feast on the flower inside the studio and it gives me great joy to watch them buzz around. And that got me thinking. Why do flowers smell so nice?

Flowers have sex

Flowers give off a scent when their pollen is ripe and ready to be taken to neighbouring flower to be fertilised in order for these flowers to produce seed. The pollen is collected and delivered by insects who in return get to eat the sweet nectar the flower produces as a reward.

Different flowers have different techniques for fertilisation. Some flowers use the wind to pollinate. Some use vibrant colours or even trap an insect to do the pollinating while it tries to escape. Nature is a most wondrous thing. And as a florist I am in awe of what nature has to offer. Especially when it comes tot those lovely shapes, colours and scents.

Scents and stinks

Not all flowers smell nice to humans, some even stink, such as Gypsophelia and Astrantia. But insects love them anyway. Other flowers smell very good indeed and there are a few scents that are my absolute fave that are available now.

  • The scented stock
  • the Sweetpea
  • Lily of the valley
  • Peonies

Most cut flowers have lost their scent

Not all commercially grown flowers have a scent. Most flower growers have focussed the breeding and cultivation of flowers to focus on appearance and longevity. In this proces a lot of flowers have lost their natural scent.

Scented flowers have a shorter vase life

It takes a lot of energy for a flower to produce scent so unfortunately most cut flowers that smell nice don’t have a long vase life. Sweetpeas and Lily of the Valley may only last for three to four days and scented stock and peonies last for five to six days. But the joy you get from these flowers definitely makes up for the loss of shelf life, in my opinion.

Lilies and Freesia

Exceptions to the scent rule are Lilies and Freesia, they have a strong smell and last for ages. But they are not everyones favourites.

Scent is back

Scented flowers are becoming more popular and there is a trend among flower growers to reintroduce cut flowers that smell nice. Especially roses grown for the wedding industry are becoming more fragrant. Take a look at the top ten best scented roses from the Perfume Flower Company. I especially like the White O’Hara and Yves Piaget.

The 10 Best Scented Roses For 2021

Scented Spring bouquet

We have created a scented bouquet with scented stock and sweetpeas for this months news letter. So order now and invite the bumble bees to fly in through your kitchen window! ( or maybe not…)

scented bouquet
scented bouquet

We are offering free delivery of the scented bouquet and all peony bouquets  to TW1.

This Special offer has free delivery until 15-6-21