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Fragrant Flowers and Herbs

Fragrance in the garden seems like a superfluous topic, every garden is fragrant. However, much like color, texture or shape one can use the element of fragrance to enhance a garden. Strategically placed flowers and herbs with sweet scents give reason to pause and enjoy.

Consider Placement

Plant sweet smelling flowers in areas where you can enjoy them. For example, if you have a spot where you like to entertain or dine outside, place hanging baskets and containers filled with aromatic plants close by so the fragrance will be appreciated. Fragrant shrubs such as gardenias or lilacs planted near windows will perfume the air in your home with every breeze. Just remember that some flowers can be very heady. I heard people complain of a plant being too fragrant, especially at night when it's time to go the sleep.

Herbs Add Fragrance Too

Herbs have aromatic leaves that will fill your garden with fragrance, especially in the late morning when the sun begins to heat up. Lavender, pineapple sage, and basil are exceptionally fragrant.

Night Scented Flowers

Fragrant Flowers Daffodil Jenny If you enjoy the garden by moonlight, be sure to include evening primrose, flowering tobacco, moonflower vine, angel's trumpet, night scented stock, four o'clocks and August lily (Hosta plantaginea). All are more fragrant in the evening than during the day. Also, watering the garden just before sunset intensifies the fragrance of many night-scented blooms.

Fragrant Plants

With a little planning you can ensure your garden will be perfumed from early spring through fall. Here is a very short list of shrubs, perennials, annuals and herbs to consider.


  1. Roses (Rosa spp.)
  2. Lilac (Syringa spp.)
  3. Gardenia (Gardenia florida)
  4. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia spp.)
  5. Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
  6. Tea Olive (Osmanthus spp.)
  7. Silverberry (Elaeagnus pungens)
  8. Mock Orange (Philadelphus virginalis)
  9. Winter Daphne (Daphne odora)
  10. Summer Sweet (Clethora spp.)


  1. Daffodils (Narcissus)
  2. Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
  3. Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
  4. Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis)
  5. Pinks (Dianthus plumarius)
  6. Oriental Lily (Lilium)
  7. Daylily (Hemerocallis)
  8. Summer Hyacinth (Galtonia candicans)
  9. Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora)
  10. Iris (Iris spp.)


  1. Petunias
  2. Marigolds (Tagetes erecta)
  3. Moonflower Vine (Ipomoea alba)
  4. Stock (Matthiola incana)
  5. Nemesia
  6. Four O'Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)
  7. Flowering Tobacco (Nicotianna alata)
  8. Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia)
  9. Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus)
  10. Angel's Trumpets (Brugmansia)


  1. Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
  2. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  3. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  4. Wormwood (Artemisia vulgaris)
  5. Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
  6. Sweet Marjoram (Origanum Majorana)
  7. Catmint (Nepeta)
  8. Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)
  9. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
  10. Common Sage (Salvia officinalis)