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The sweet summer scent
of camomile lawns

July 2016

Some years ago here at LaterLife we discussed the benefits of camomile tea…this has been popular for years offering benefits against inflammation, insomnia and anxiety. It is often known as the relaxing and calming herb.

But camomile lawns are also wonderful and it is surprising so little is written about them.

They have a wonderful history, the Elizabethans used to be particularly keen on camomile lawns. The poet Spencer wrote in the mid 1500s of "Breathful Camomile" as he trod on a soft, springy lawn. One of the most famous camomile lawns dates  from King George V and is still at Buckingham Palace.

These lawns then went out of fashion until they enjoyed a brief reoccurence of popularity in 1984 when author Mary Wesley released a book of that name which was then turned into a tv series with Felicity Kendal and Paul Eddington. But in recent years the idea of a camomile lawn has once again dropped out of the public arena.

Which is a great shame because they can offer so many wonderful benefits to a garden.

For a start, a camomile plant can be used to provide a lower maintenance alternative to grass. This can be the perfect solution for edges or other areas where getting the mower into is difficult.

They can also offer a softer slightly lighter green than grass to offer a charming contrast, especially in a big lawn area.

Most of all though, when you walk across camomile, not only does it feel soft to the foot, but it gives off the most delightful scent that can waft right across a garden. The scene of camomile has been described as apple like, sweet and fruity with a classical old world fragrance. It is especially strong after rain as well.

Even better camomile can stay green in dry spells and it doesn’t need mowing like a normal lawn.

Camomile is actually a herb and grows best in light, even sunny, areas ideally well drained and possibly with slightly acidic soil. But that said, it is quite easy to grown and can be planted from March right through summer to late September.

Before planting, weeds and especially perennials such as clover or couch grass needs to be removed, and you will need quite a few plants, possibly around 50 plants to cover a square meter. Then these will take a couple of weeks to establish themselves before they start to grow.

You only need a small area though to enjoy the look and fabulous scent from a camomile lawn.

There is now once again increasing interest in camomile lawns and there is now a specialist advisory and product website run by Morehaven Camomile Lawns. They suggest their special Treneague plant which never flowers so is perfect for hayfever suffers and it is also very sweet smelling.
You can also email Morehaven Camomile Lawns: or call 01489 878501.  

There is also information on the RHS website.

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