Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
Have you ever noticed small children in a flower garden? They tend to immediately bury their little noses into the flowers and smell them.
We adults need to take the time to do the same – and many of us do! Especially when the daylilies are blooming at the nursery, I see so many people, adults and children alike, walking around with the telltale sign of flower sniffing – orange pollen on their nose!
The peonies and iris are blooming in the gardens now and many of these have a wonderful sweet fragrance.
When planning a garden, it is important to not only consider form, structure, texture, and color in the flower bed, but also fragrance. Your sense of smell can often bring back pleasant memories of places and times in your past. Whenever I walk past a blooming Viburnum carlesii, I am transported back to my childhood home where a magnificent specimen of these intensely fragrant shrubs grew at the corner of our patio.
What wonderful memories!
What flower fragrances take you back? Roses, lilacs, honeysuckle …
Be sure to incorporate some of those plants into your gardens!
You should plant pockets of fragrant flowers where you will enjoy them the most – near the porch, deck, patio, or poolside. Another good place for a touch of fragrance is along a favorite garden path or beside your sidewalk or driveway. If you place plants with fragrant foliage at the edge of your garden path, the fragrance will be released when you brush against it as you pass by. An interesting idea to keep in mind!
The 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. I love driving by a patch of wild honeysuckle in the early evening with the windows down – their sweet perfume just wafts into the open windows.
Such a delight!
Fragrance can be added to the landscape and garden through the use of trees, vines, shrubs, annuals, bulbs, and perennials. There are many fragrant choices in each of these categories.
Some fragrant spring flowers include:
Trees and Shrubs:
- Calycanthus floridus (Sweet Shrub)
- flowering quince
- Mock Orange
Perennials and bulbs:
- Convallaria majalis (Lily-of-the-Valley)
- many peonies (like ‘Phillipe Revoire’, ‘Belle Chinoise’, and ‘Le Cygne’)
- many tall bearded iris
- Jonquils and hyacinths
For summer fragrance, try:
- Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
- Clethra (Summersweet Clethera)
- sweet pea
- Four O’clocks
- Lilium (oriental lilies)
- Lavandula (Lavender)
- certain hosta varieties
- some Monarda and Phlox paniculata hybrids
- Perovskia (Russian Sage)
- some daylily varieties
With the fall comes:
- Common Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
- Sweet Autumn Clematis.
Fragrance from Foliage
There are many plants that produce fragrant foliage rather than fragrant flowers but the fragrance is none-the-less intoxicating. Try the many varieties of thyme, lavender, 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 that will 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.