We love strolling through our gardens enjoying the beautiful flowers enjoying a bounty of sweet perfumes.
Wait, shouldn't their be more fragrance? All the time? We so carefully plan the color combinations and blooms throughout the seasons. Why aren't we paying more attention to fragrance?
Most flowers emit a scent to attract pollinators, and those scents vary dramatically. Subtle or powerful, sweet or musky. But generally the scent is most evident only when the plant is ready for pollination and often only during the day unless the pollinator is nocturnal such as a moth. So we need to learn more about the fragrance of our flowers to plan for sweet perfume to enjoy all season.
And there are so many fragrant plants that we can easily add to our gardens, be sure to add them where they can be most enjoyed. Near a patio or entrance, surrounding a reading bench, along a path, or near open windows to enjoy sweet fragrance in your home. Note the intensity and types of scents you prefer before making plant selections. Plant groups of fragrant plants to enhance soft fragrances and separate plant groupings so the scents don't compete.
Be aware that many hybrids have been bred for blooms or color and may not be fragrant even though the "parent" plants are. And scented flowers generally have a short blooming period, so pay attention to the time of year they bloom. And plan for cutting to bring vases full of fragrance inside.
I will try not to be biased, but I certainly will make sure my favorites are listed here. There are of course so many more, but these are some of gardener's favorites:
Peony - Huge blooms with huge fragrance. Full sweet floral scent in spring.
Lilac - Sweet to spicy but always intense in spring.
Honeysuckle - Powerful fruity scent spring into summer most potent as the day wanes.
Mock Orange - Elegant orange scent in spring.
Roses - Not all are fragrant and the scents vary dramatically. Fragrance information is standard in rose descriptions.
Jasmine - not all are fragrant but some can be almost overpowering. Richly sweet summer into fall.
Gardenia - Gardeners favorite for subtle exotic scent most powerful in humidity and rain.
Lavender - Summer long delightful and subtle scent of aromatic herb. A calming fragrance.
Evening Primrose - Opening at dusk or when overcast with a sweet vanilla scent.
Flowering Tobacco - are especially sweet at night.
Wisteria - those that are scented are pleasantly sweet and relaxing in spring
Sweet Pea - many gardeners consider the scented Sweet Pea the fragrance of summer, intense but subtly sweet like honey
Creeping thyme - planted in pathways this groundcover will emit a spicy herbal scent with every step.
Hyssop - strongly scented of anise in summer.
Daphne shrub - sweet and earthy scent in spring
Phlox - summer blooms that are scented intensify in heat. Not all hybrids are fragrant.
Dianthus - including Sweet William and Carnation are scented delicately of spice like cloves
And don’t forget about aromatic herbs!