How to Create a Fragrant Garden for All Four Seasons

Fragrance is the one element in a garden that makes you stop and savour the moment. While you can enjoy shapes and colors as you walk on by, to appreciate the scent from a flower you have to pause and move your nose right up to the petals. For me fragrant flowers make all the difference to a garden and this article by Jennifer which I found on her Three Dogs in a Garden website describes scented plants for all four seasons.

The older I get, the more artificial fragrances bother me. I dread a walk down the laundry soap isle in the grocery store. The highly perfumed detergents and fabric softeners overwhelm me and put me on edge. I can’t wait to flee. The underlying problem is that “fragrance” is a great catchall for many unnamed and somewhat dubious chemical ingredients. No wonder they can be unpleasant!

The natural fragrances I find in the garden do not have the same effect on me at all. I still love it when my fingers end up smelling like roses after I do my deadheading. I don’t even mind the white Actea that blooms in the fall and fills the air with the most intense perfume.

Am I alone in this? I’d love to hear about your experiences with fragrance in the comment section.

Here are a few ways to get more out of the fragrant plants in your garden:

• Place fragrant flowers in an area you pass frequently.

• Edge a pathway so visitors will brush by fragrant plants.

• Plant fragrant flowers next to a bench or seating area.

• Many flowers are their most fragrant at night, so plant them near a deck or patio so you can enjoy them on warm summer nights.

Spring has lots to offer in terms of scent. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for fragrant plants, trees and shrubs:
• Shop for variety as well as type of flower. Daylilies are not usually very fragrant, but my Mom had an old yellow variety that had an amazingly scent. Roses are another great example. Most modern roses have little or no smell. Check the plant tag or descriptives in nursery listings to make sure you are choosing a rose that smells divine!

• Don’t forget about aromatic foliage. For example, I love the fresh scent of Ostrich Ferns.

• Herbs have aromatic foliage and sometimes have scented blooms. Lavender is a perfect example.

• Plan beyond spring and try to have at least a few plants in each season that will be fragrant.

See more at Three Dogs in a Garden


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