Should You Plant a Sex Garden?

Time to reap what you sow!

Loving couple kissing on flowering meadow outdoors
Lie down and smell the flowers
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Outdoor sex is polarizing. Some people crave the thrill, freedom and risk of it all. Others fixate on the anxiety, discomfort and possible Lyme Disease of it all. But with summer weather heating up, some landscape designers in the UK are working to drum up interest in the sex garden — an outdoor space designed specifically to turn you on and provide a safe, private and environmentally conscious place for an al fresco romp. 

At last week’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Festival in London, gardeners from all over the region came together to showcase their work on the palace grounds. But one plot in particular —  an “erotic garden” named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and fertility — caught the attention of the media. Designed by the MHLK Collective, Aphrodite’s Garden featured drought-resistant plants that are either known aphrodisiacs or are associated with romance, like myrtle, opium, jasmine, pomegranates, figs and other fruit trees. Every detail was considered, down to the garden path, which was made from crushed whelk and oyster shells. Cheek!

Sophie Knittel, a photographer and designer with MHLK, said that she and her team “wanted to move away from the idea of gardens being twee. We want to make gardens sensual and sexy,” according to The Guardian.

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The concept was to create a landscape that satisfies and titillates all the senses, something that impressed UK-based garden designer Matthew Childs, who spoke to Ideal Homes about MHLK Collective’s work. “I was lucky to see this garden in the flesh at the show and it got me thinking that all gardens should be a place of sensory delight and passion,” he said.

Knittel said her team chose plants that have deeply erotic roots. “In India, for example, they put jasmine flowers in the newlyweds’ bedroom to set the mood for the first night,” she said. Whereas Aphrodite’s temple was surrounded by myrtle trees. As for the opium? The drug is known to intensify sensation.

For creating your own erotic garden, Childs recommends focusing on heavily scented plants like roses, jasmine, mock orange and sweet box, plus thyme, rosemary and other aromatic herbs. Choose colors consciously, especially hot oranges and reds (he recommends Sweet Williams flowers). And be sure to play with textures (buttery soft lambs ears are a sure winner). 

“We want to inspire visitors to turn their own garden into a secluded, romantic haven away from prying eyes,” Knittel said. “There is nothing that is taboo about sex, and we hope that this beautiful garden will help people to talk about sex in a very positive way.”

It’s certainly something to consider next time you venture into the bush.

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