I remember guests to my parents` house commenting on the wonderful floral scents that wafted through the garden as they arrived. This has persuaded me to also plant some fragrant flowers in the garden at our place.
You can choose to plant close to areas in which you typically relax - by the front steps, next to porches or under windows, or you can design a scented scheme against a warm wall with some seating, or around a BBQ area for those long summer evenings.
Sunny sheltered areas provide the best planting areas for scents to linger.
Scent can originate from several parts of a plant, but is often associated with the flowers. However, to truly appreciate aromatic plants, don`t limit your selection to flowers alone. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme produce a wonderful fragrance when the leaves are crushed. Some plants release their odor when touched, while others release theirs into the breeze.
Evoking our most powerful memories, scent adds a fourth dimension to your garden; Helen Keller once called the sense of smell "a fallen angel." A well-designed and planned garden should appeal to and satisfy both one`s sense of sight and smell.
Aromatic and Fragrant Plants
Many plants are aromatic; the scent emanates from the essential oils contained in their foliage or flowers. Apparently, strong scents protect from browsing animals; they also attract insects for fertilization. Strength and character of the scent, however, can vary depending on time of day and year, exposure to sun, wind, and temperature. Scent can also vary with different specimens even among the same species. For that reason, it is advisable to buy plants while they are in bloom.
Most plants with aromatic leaves are evergreen and many are grown both for the effect of their gray-green or silver foliage and their smell. However, some leaves have to be rubbed or crushed underfoot to release their perfume; a practice used during Elizabethan times when leaves and aromatic herbs were strewn over floors.
We generally value bulbs for the splash of color they provide in early spring, but many such as hyacinths, daffodils, jonquils and some tulips are finely perfumed as well. Lilies provide a heady fragrance throughout the summer.
||mints, lavender, sages, rosemary
||carnation and pinks, azalea, fennel, nasturtium
||lily, jasmine, gardenia, jonquil
||clover, elder, honeysuckle, heliotrope
||hawthorn, barberry, hybrid musk roses
||grape hyacinth, magnolia, sweet olive, hybrid tea roses, geraniums, passion flower
||sweet violet, Siberian crabapple
||rosa , peonies, winter honeysuckle
|Unique (heavy, but refined)
||lily-of-the-valley, sweet pea, sweet irises, wisteria, lilac
Many scented plants bloom exclusively at night. These plants typically have white, or light-colored flowers and are pollinated by moths. Some of these nocturnal flowers actually open during the day but don`t release their fragrance until after the sun sets.
I`ve included a list of suggestions for planting a scented garden.
Annuals, Perennials and Herbs
Aquilegia (Granny`s Bonnet)
Butterflybush ( Buddleia davidii)
Catmint (Nepeta sp.)
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Dianthus (Dianthus sp.)
Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata) N*
Forget-me-not ( Mysotis sylvatica)
Garden phlox (Phlox sp.)
Heliotrope (Helotropium arborescans)
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lemon balm (Me#ssa officinalis)
Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)
Rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalis)
Sweet alyssum (Alyssum marit/mum)
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Verbena (Verbena sp.)
Violet (Viola odorata)
Water Lily (Nymphaaa. sp.)
Bulbs and Corms
Crocus (Crocus sp.)
Daffodils (Narcisus sp.)
Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)
Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)
Lilies (Lilium sp.)
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Madonna lily (Lilium candidum)
Snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii & G. nivalis)
Trees, Shrubs and Vines
Black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia)
Burkwood daphne (Daphne x burkwoodii)
Hardy shrub roses ( Rosa rugosa)
Horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Koreanspice viburnum (Viburnum carlesi)
Linden/Basswood (Tilia sp.)
Lilac (Syringa sp.)
Mockorange ( Philadelphis coroneris)
Oregon grape holly (Mahonia aquifolium)
Pagoda dogwood (Comus altemafolia)
Plum ( Prunus americana )
Purpleleaf sand cherry ( Prunus x cistena)
Summer sweet (Clethera alnifolia)
Sweet autumn clematis (Clematis petiolaris)
Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox)