Dedicated to perfume and scented plants, Keyneston Mill is the experimental home of Parterre Fragrances – a botanic garden and working estate, where the key ingredients for our perfumes are grown, harvested and distilled.
The Collection is our name for the demonstration gardens here at Keyneston Mill, and each ‘compartment’ represents a different fragrance family eg. floral, fern, spice and citrus. Together they serve a number of purposes.
Firstly, they are here for us all to enjoy. We want them to look, and smell, wonderful. They are also used as trial beds where we can grow and experiment with potential new and unusual perfume ingredients. In addition, the gardens help us to bring to life the fascinating history of scented plants and some of the stories behind perfume making.
THE PADUA GARDEN
Fougere (French for “Fern”) is one of the most popular perfume families. Our garden includes some of the plants traditionally used in this group, including artemisia, lavender, rosemary, clary sage, and mint as well as ferns.
Our Spice Garden reflects the colours and scents of a contemporary spice market and comprises block planted beds in a geometric pattern inspired by the works of Kandinsky. It includes classic spices such as bay and fennel, and more unusual ones, such as Vietnamese coriander and perilla.
Our collection of citrus trees is housed in the exhibition tunnel in cooler months and then moved outside in the summer (usually late June to September). Many of them are unusual varieties rarely seen in the UK, and they are complimented by citrus scented herbs and other aromatic plants.
PERFUME CROP FIELDS & BEYOND
The perfume crop fields are reached via The Avenue, and this is where the perfume ingredients are grown. Depending on the time of year, you might see the fields being ploughed, or the crops being planted, tended or harvested. Beyond, The Avenue leads on to the Lost Orchard where our bees are happily and productively located, and the River Meadow, a natural area and haven for wildlife which is perfect for relaxation.