Fragrant plants create a new dimension for your garden
By Lynette L. Walther
Perfume has the ability to transport us to another time, another place and when used in the garden it can create magic. Many of our emotions and memories are intertwined, due to the anatomy of the brain. Adding deliciously fragrant plants to any landscape can bring a whole new dimension to our garden design.
Often the choice of plants based on color scheme or texture is at the forefront when buying, selecting and planting plants. But focusing on fragrance is where we’re heading today.
According to the National Garden Bureau, when selecting plants for a garden, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, annuals and – of course – spectacularly fragrant herbs are excellent choices for scenting the landscape.
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Consider choosing fragrant plants that bloom at different times of the year for a succession of scents throughout the seasons. You’ll enjoy sweet scents all season long with a little planning. While fragrant flowers add a sweet smell to a garden, the foliage of many plants also provides a fabulous fragrance. Look for herbs for fragrance from the garden. Plant a rosemary hedge or prune silver mounds. Lemongrass foliage and a variety of mints can all provide an aromatherapy boost. Holy basil is delicately fragrant, and the flowers and foliage can be used in herbal remedies and herbal teas.
Here are some fragrant shrub choices to consider.
Roses: “A rose by any other name would smell just as good”
Old and heirloom roses often offer a subtle fragrance and good disease resistance. Mrs. BR Cant is the one that blooms in waves throughout the year. Look for newer varieties like Purple Prince or citrus-scented California Dreamin’ Hybrid Tea Rose; the peony-shaped flowers scented with notes of apple and champagne from Parfuma Earth Angel; or the sweetly scented dark red Brindabella Crimson Knight rose.
Gardenias: Nothing Says Old World Elegance Like The Scent Of Gardenias
For an early double variety with 4-5 inch blooms that continue throughout the growing season, try First Love. If space is an issue, you’ll love the compact, mound-shaped Gardenia Buttons. Only 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide, the reflowering beauty makes a terrific addition to containers.
Sweetshrub: A Gardener’s Dream
This southeast native that stretches from New York to Florida and west to the Mississippi River region is also known as the Carolina allspice.
The fragrant blooms smell of citrus, banana, strawberry, pineapple, bubblegum or even gin, depending on who you ask, and the shrub grows beautifully whether planted in full sun or in the sun. deep shadow. Native plant lovers will love Green Thumb Award-winning Sweetshrub Simply Scentsational, a cultivar hardy in zones 4-9.
Dark brown flowers appear in spring throughout summer, smelling of pineapple or bubblegum. Venus produces tall shows of clear white magnolia-like flowers with a banana scent in early summer.
Traditionally used as a specimen plant or as a hedge in the landscape, the new cultivars offer a variety of sizes, according to NGB. Illuminati Tower grows in a columnar habit with a unique four-sided “tower” effect, producing hundreds of fragrant white flowers in early summer. Reaching only 3 to 4 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide, it is ideal for tight spaces. Compact Snow Dwarf stands only 2 to 3 feet tall and produces pure white, double flowers with a fabulous orange blossom fragrance, perfect for small gardens.
Brugmansia or angel’s trumpet
This exotic, long-lived woody perennial can reach the size of a small tree, depending on the variety. It can perfume the garden with the fragrance of its trumpet-shaped flowers and is an excellent choice for container plantings. Many brugmansia flowers are especially fragrant on hot summer nights. Place these spectacular plants where you can enjoy the fragrance.
The 6 to 24 inch hanging flowers can be white, cream, yellow, peach, orange, pink or red, depending on the variety. Charles Grimaldi is an old-fashioned favourite, with golden flowers that turn salmon-orange when ripe. Cypress Gardens is an ideal container plant, with white flowers fading to pale salmon.
The flowers are more fragrant in the evening. Inca Sun is a hybrid that blooms continuously throughout the summer. All brugmansia need protection from frost, and all parts of these plants are poisonous.
The pretty evergreen vine with star-shaped white flowers and dark green foliage is wonderful for covering a wall, trellis or arbor, or using it as a beautiful ground cover. Jasmine is a tender perennial in zones 8 through 11 and is a perfect choice for gardens in the region. Or for a beautiful addition to a moon garden, try Arabian jasmine. The lush foliage of this vine contrasts beautifully with the small, intensely fragrant white flowers that open at night and close in the morning, fading to pink as they age.
Lavender: One of the most recognizable scents
Lavender provides a soothing and calming scent that relieves stress and anxiety. Lavender also looks great in well-drained garden beds and containers, and the flowers add both beauty and fragrance to bouquets.
But not all lavender has the same smell. Look for some of the most fragrant cultivars for your garden, such as Lavandula angustifolia Folgate or Hidcote or Munstead. All three varieties are popular among perfumeries – an added benefit of including lavender in your fragrance garden. And lavender is popular for herbal creations with dried flowers and the fresh flowers are also edible, perfect for a variety of culinary creations.
Lynette L. Walther is the GardenComm Gold Medal winner for writing, a five-time GardenComm Silver Medal recipient for achievement, the National Garden Bureau Exemplary Journalism Award, and the author of ” Florida Gardening on the Go”. She is a member of GardenComm, the professional organization for garden writers. Its gardens are located on the banks of the St. Johns River.