Aug 152010
 

Rose 'Neptune'

There are many plants to choose from to add fragrance to your garden. Some have fragrant flowers, others aromatic foliage, or both. Fragrance adds an important dimension to the garden and should not be overlooked when selecting plants for your garden.

Designing a perfumed garden

Planning is the key to success when planting a perfumed garden. Planting too many strongly scented plants close together and all flowering at the same time would be overwhelming, so it is important to know when each plant will be in flower. It may be wise to intersperse strongly scented plants with non – scented plants, or select plants so that the flowering season is staggered all year round.

Positioning plants

When planning the garden, position the most strongly scented plants so that the scent may be enjoyed. For example, plant near entrances, windows and around outdoor entertaining areas. Placing scented plants in pots is an easy way to shift plants in flower to these areas. Some flowers smell strongest at night, so these are best planted near windows or doors, where the fragrance may be enjoyed.

Intensity of Perfume

Some plants may have a pleasant, but more subtle fragrance. These should be planted together en masse to gain the benefit of their perfume. However, strongly perfumed plants are best planted singly, for example many of the Jasmines. Keep in mind that some strongly scented plants may smell good to some people and not to others.

Foliage fragrance tends to be subtler than many of the scented flowers. Usually, foliage gives off scent when crushed or brushed against. Edging paths with fragrant foliage plants is an ideal way to take advantage of this.

Many herbs have strongly aromatic foliage, which may be picked and dried to bring the fragrance inside the house. Pruning therefore has an added advantage of providing material for cooking and other crafts.

Some Planting Ideas

A Fragrant Rose Garden

Plant

Colour

Habit

Design Use / Fragrance

Rose ‘Lamarque’

White

Climber

On Walls

Rosa ‘Crepuscule’

Orange

Climber

On walls, over pergolas

Rosa ‘Dublin Bay’

Red

Climber

Over arches, pillars

Rosa ‘Freesia’

Yellow

Floribunda

Bush Rose

Rosa ‘Charles de Gaulle’

Mauve

Hybrid Tea

Bush Rose

Rosa ‘Fiona’s Wish’

Pink

Hybrid Tea

Bush Rose

Rosa ‘Abraham Darby’

Apricot

David Austin

Bush Rose

Lavender

Purple / Mauve

Small Shrub

Interspersed with bush roses

Heliotrope

Purple

Small Shrub

Interspersed with bush roses, Vanilla scented flowers

Mintia (Hesperozygis)

Pink / Blue / Purple

Small Shrub

As a border or edging plant, Mint foliage fragrance

Philadelphus mexicanus

Colour and Fragrance All Year

Plant

Season

Habit

Chimonanthus praecox

Winter

Medium Shrub, flowers on bare stems

Philadelphus mexicanus

Spring

Medium Shrub

Murraya paniculata

Summer

Medium Shrub

Choisya ternata

Summer

Medium Shrub

Chocolate Cosmos

Summer

Perennial

Prostanthera ovalifolia, or P. rotundifolia

All year

Medium Shrub

Sweet Pea

Spring

Annual

Osmanthus ‘Heaven Scent’

Early Spring

Medium Shrub

Jasminum spp.

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Climber

Jonquil

Spring

Bulb

Tuberose

Summer

Bulb

Hyacinth

Spring

Bulb

Boronia

Late Winter, Spring

Small Shrub

Oriental Lilium

Summer

Bulb

A Perfumed Shade Garden

Plant

Habit

Position

Season

Daphne odora

Small Shrub

Plant in different areas to take advantage of the winter fragrance

Winter

Bouvardia humboltii

Small Shrub

Best in pots to take advantage of the fragrance

Summer

Gardenias

Small to medium shrubs

May be used as a hedge, massed, or in pots. Light Shade only.

Summer

Lily of the Valley

Perennial

Plant under trees

Summer

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Climber

Walls and pergolas

Summer, Autumn

Luculia gratissima, or L. grandiflora

Large Shrub

Background shrub

Winter

Cyclamen

Bulb

Adds a splash or colour to the garden, or in pots

Autumn, Winter

Saracocca confusa

Small Shrub

Excellent hedging plant

Spring

Hedychium gardnerianum

Perennial

Background planting, or in narrow beds where height is required

Summer

Viola odorata

Groundcover

Excellent groundcover under trees

Spring, Summer, Autumn

A fragrant kitchen garden

Plant

Habit

Use

Citrus

Small Tree

Culinary

Pineapple Sage

Perennial

Culinary, Fragrance

Rosemary

Small Shrub

Culinary, hedging

Thyme

Groundcover

Culinary, Fragrance

Bergamot

Perennial

Fragrance, Flavouring

Scented Pelargoniums

Perennial

Fragrance, Companion Planting

Sage officionalis

Small Shrub

Fragrant foliage, Culinary

Mint

Groundcover

Fragrant foliage, Culinary

Oregano

Groundcover

Culinary