For David Traupman, the memory of his maternal grandmother is forever linked to two fragrances: roses and mint.
"She had a great rose garden around the patio, with mint mixed in," he says, recalling a garden he often weeded - and inhaled - as a child.
Decades later, his grandmother came to live at Keystone House, the Wyndmoor hospice where Traupman works. When she died a few months later, the family planted a memorial border of mint and roses - pink 'Fairy' and fragrant David Austin varieties - around the hospice porch.
Traupman, then, understands flower power, whatever the setting. And he knows a garden's truth is universal.
"Flowers give people something to connect to," he says.
They also engage people, prompting curiosity, conversation and understanding of one's place in the universe. They look, smell and feel nice, too.
Residents of Keystone House spend a lot of time sitting on the lovely old porch. So Traupman, an exuberant gardener who studied horticulture at Temple University Ambler, decided to "focus on making the front welcoming." He's doing that with color, scents and texture in a design that's free-flowing as opposed to geometric.
"I'm not into order," he says.
Traupman and volunteers planted fuzzy lamb's ears, spiky cleome, and wavy miscanthus. They added Russian sage, sweet lavender, and 'Black Beauty' lilies. And they twined vines around the porch: 'Sunrise Serenade' and 'Milky Way' morning glory and 'Giant White' moonflower, hyacinth bean, and sweet autumn clematis.
"Stuff people can touch and feel and smell," Traupman says. "We want them to enjoy whatever time they have."
The porch is dotted with hanging baskets, and off to the side is an herb circle destined for good things: basil, rosemary, sage, parsley, chives and thyme, along with miniature lemon balm, 'Petite Delight' monarda (bee balm), bronze fennel, and anise hyssop, a licorice-scented member of the mint family.
The circle will draw bees and butterflies, while providing fresh herbs for the chef and sensory delight for all.
"Nobody can walk up to a beautiful garden without smiling," Traupman says. "It makes people feel good."