Have you ever noticed small children in a flower garden? They tend to immediately bury their little noses into the flowers and smell them. Adults need to take the time to do the same! Not only should gardeners consider the form, structure, texture, and color of the flower bed, but also the fragrance.
Fragrance of certain flowers is more obvious during various periods of time – when the weather is warm and the air moist, or when the sun goes down and the night bloomers emit their sweetness into the air.
Plant pockets of fragrant flowers where you will enjoy them the most – the porch, deck, patio, or poolside. Use fragrant foliage to overhang your garden path so that you brush against it as you pass by.
Fragrance can be added to the landscape and garden with the use of certain trees, vines, shrubs, annuals, and perennials.
Trees and Shrubs:
Magnolia, Calycanthus floridus (Sweet Shrub), flowering quince, Daphne, Mock Orange, Lilacs, Viburnum, and Wisteria
Perennials and bulbs:
Convallaria majalis (Lily-of-the-Valley), some peonies (like 'Phillipe Revoire' shown here), Dianthus, Primula, some tall bearded iris, and the bulbs of jonquils and hyacinths
Buddleia, Clethra, and roses
Clematis, Jasmine, honeysuckle, moonflower, and sweet pea
Snapdragons, Cosmos, Four O'clocks, Nicotiana, and marigolds
Astilbe, Lilium (oriental lilies), Lavandula (Lavender), Nepeta, certain hosta varieties, some Monarda and Phlox paniculata hybrids, Perovskia (Russian Sage), some daylily varieties, and Yucca
Common Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) and Sweet Autumn Clematis.
There are many plants that produce fragrant foliage rather than fragrant flowers but the fragrance is none-the-less intoxicating. Try the many Thymes, rosemary, basil, the mints, and a host of other herbs. Artemisia, hay-scented fern, sweet woodruff, lemon grass, lemon verbena, heliotrope, and scented geraniums are a few others to add a pleasant scent to the garden or containers.
And, of course, everyone loves the many fragrant boughs of evergreens that are used at Christmas time to bring a spicy, nostalgic aroma indoors.