Spectacular Scented Stock

Our fleur du jour is glorious delightful stock or Matthiola incana to give it its Latin name. We adore this inconspicuous scruffy garden-like specimen so it’s a pleasure to take a moment to ponder on its beauty. Most people instinctively raise a flower to their nose to sample its natural scent. This can sometimes be disappointing as there are countless beautiful flowers that look very appealing but are devoid of any distinct perfume; not so with stock. This is one of the most heavily-scented flowers on our planet with a fragrance all of its own. It’s a sweet-smelling experience without being overpowering and we love to make use of them whilst they are in season from March through to August. Stock is a relatively inexpensive flower, it looks casual and carefree without being flashy, so it’s the perfect pick-me-up flower for a special treat. Give a bunch to someone who needs cheering up and you’ll see exactly what we mean – stock is the ultimate feelgood flower!

A bouquet of stock. The perfect gift!
A bouquet of stock. The perfect gift!

The scent of flowers should never be underestimated and although most discussion on flowers extols their aesthetic appeal, flowers are a unique sensory experience. The simple process of handling and touching flowers can bring a stressed distracted mind to a calm, peaceful moment in time, while the scent can transport you back to the moment you first encountered them, such is the power of flowers’ sensory trigger.

We love this apricot variety of stock
We love this apricot variety of stock

Although they may not be not quite as punchy, stock can hold their own in the company of delphinium, eremurus and foxglove, with their mass of miniature flowers that graduate to an elegant point. They generally stand around 60cm and boast a Ben and Jerry’s  ice cream palette of colours with varieties in pinks, lilac, purple, peach and cream. They are a soft and sensitive flower that can easily be damaged so care is needed when handling. There are plenty of flowers that can sit prettily in a vase for in excess of two weeks but stock is a fleeting beauty. Savour the experience and enjoy the magnificent scent for around five delicious days of pure summertime indulgence…