Grow a Scented Garden

by Jane VanOsdol on April 20, 2011

Spring is the right time to plan and begin planting your gardens for beautiful blooms, textures and scents all summer long. With so many plants and garden plans to choose from, how can you ever decide what to plant? Why not let your nose help you decide?

Today so many flowers have beautiful color, but little scent. It’s fun to capture the joy of yesteryear in your landscaping by planting a scented garden. The following plants are not only beautiful, but they will also fill your garden with heavenly scents. This list will just get you started—you’ll find plenty of other aromatic wonders as you search on your own too. If you need help planning and planting your scented garden, just consult with your local gardening lawn care service.

Sweet alyssum. Sweet alyssum is an annual, which is a compact bedding plant with tiny flowers that pack a powerfully sweet scent. Alyssum quickly spreads out and fills in bare areas in your garden and comes in white, pink and purple colors. It will bloom for months, provided the soil is not soggy. If it gets leggy, cut it back and it should rebloom. It does well in borders and rock gardens. It reaches a height of about 8 -12 inches.

Pansies. Known for having a happy “face,” pansies just brighten up any space they’re planted in, and some of the varieties are


especially fragrant. They love cool weather, so protect them from the heat in the summer if you can. An annual in the colder states, pansies may survive the winter in the warmer states. They grow about 6 – 9 inches high.

Sweet peas. Sweet peas are a highly fragrant climbing vine, which hummingbirds adore. It’s easy to locate heirloom varieties of these seeds in garden centers. The traditional date to plant sweet peas is on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. The seeds are tough, so nick them before you plant them or soak them overnight in water before planting. They take two to three weeks to sprout, so don’t give up on them. You’ll be rewarded in late May and June with beautiful blossoms and a heavenly fragrance that will delight you. They don’t like heat, so they will wither away in mid-summer unless you provide shade.


Stock. Stock is another fragrant annual flower in white, pastel and burgundy shades that does well in the summer cutting garden. This spicy scented flower grows  to a height of 8 – 15 inches.

Nicotiana. Nicotiana is a relative of the tobacco plant and grows anywhere from 12 – 36 inches tall. White and purple are two of its more common shades. Before buying this annual plant, check to make sure the variety you are getting is fragrant. Some of the new introductions have been designed for color and not fragrance. The flowers open up in the afternoon and fill the air with fragrance all night.

Jasmine. Jasmine is a lovely, highly fragrant tropical plant. Put it in a large pot with a trellis to climb up, and you’ll be rewarded with snowy white fragrant blossoms that will scent the hot summer evening air. If you want it to survive the winter, try bringing it indoors.

Herbs. Herbs are known for their scents and culinary delights. Any herb you choose will be a wonderful addition to your


garden. Most herbs are known more for their scented leaves than their flowers, but many put on a beautiful show including lavender, pineapple sage, chamomile and scented geraniums. Lemon verbena is a favorite for its potent lemon scent.

Have fun exploring the world of scented flowers and herbs. Give your landscape design service a call, and let them help you create a garden retreat to delight your senses.

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