Fragrant flowers make the garden memorable. If you’ve ever strolled outside at sunset and been surrounded by the tantalizing, citrus-y essence of orange or lemon blooms, you know what I mean.
These are my top picks for fragrant flowers and shrubs to help you make your garden memorable.
Top Fragrant Flowers and Shrubs
A good nurseryman may be able to direct you to a specific variety that is good in your part of the world. If you are picky about smells, it might be a good idea to smell the real thing before going to the time, trouble, and expense to plant it.
1). Crab apple trees are famous for their colorful, fragrant springtime blooms. Best Crabapples for Your Yard
2). Roses seem to be the quintessential fragrant flower. I cannot think of another shrub that gives us flowers for as long as they do. Look for a rose that is a repeat bloomer, so that once they start in spring you can usually expect flowers through fall depending on your zone. Many David Austin roses are bred for scent as is ‘Abraham Darby’ (seen below). Its lusciously double, pink petals are heavy with fragrance. They tend to smell strongest in the early evening and make very good cut flowers, too, bringing their scent indoors.
Photo: Marie Viljoen
3). On the topic of fragrant daylilies (most are NOT fragrant) a Boston blog states, “Oftentimes well-meaning hybridizers neglect fragrance, instead favoring a particular color or over-sized blooms. Hemerocallis dumortieri is a species daylily meaning it is exactly as you would find it growing in fields of wildflowers in Manchuria, eastern Russia, Korea, and Japan (no hybridization). The golden yellow-orange flowers have a scent to match their color; the fragrance is a heavenly combination of orange blossoms and honeysuckle.”
4). Old-fashioned lilacs are one of the best examples of fragrant shrubs. Their delectable floral notes are one of my fondest as a girl, as we played within a huge circular clump of shrubs. It was cool and shady and made a wonderful castle!
Blooming from early to late spring, their lovely flowers will last about two weeks, and then it will be over. I think they are worth the wait. We take for granted something we have all the time. They can get quite large, so plant where they have room to spread out.
My only lilac (above) was a gift from a friend. Growing to be large shrubs, lilacs spread by sending out lateral suckers; she thoughtfully dug a small start from the edge of her shrub.
5). “Orienpet” lilies combine the sublime beauty of Oriental lilies with the garden persistence, heat tolerance and color of Trumpet and Aurelian hybrids. Orienpets do not need any staking; they should be planted in a sunny but sheltered area. ‘Luminaries’ is a 4-6′ fragrant lily.
‘Silk Road’ won the Popularity Poll four years in a row, and is now part of the Lilium Hall of Fame. This 4-6′ and taller lily is highly fragrant.
If you LOVE flowers, you will love browsing The Lily Garden!
6). Fragrant peonies often last for generations in the garden. An old-fashioned heirloom from the early 1900s, many think ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is still one of the loveliest peonies there is.
‘Big Ben’ is a gorgeous, easy-growing heirloom selection from 1943 offers very large, rose-red blooms. The fragrance is outstanding and the plant has wonderful vigor, performing well in the garden each year.
Here are Top Picks: 23 Perfect Peonies, many of which are fragrant.
7.) In our yard, spicebush viburnums are one of the strongest, most pleasant of the fragrant flowers of late spring. If full sun is a challenge, Mohawk or Korean Spice viburnums (Viburnum carlesii) are delightful early to mid-spring shrubs for gardens with dappled shade, afternoon or morning-only sun. They do not bloom in full shade. Appearing on the stems before the leaves, the flower clusters are richly-scented white snowballs with a touch of clove. Mohawk’s buds are red and open to a creamy white. Cold-tolerant viburnums require minimal fuss as long as they have good drainage.
8.) Don’t forget those beautiful deep purple violets. Don’t be afraid to let them naturalize in your gardens if you like a more informal look but be aware they can be slightly invasive.
You can make bouquets of them and they smelled heavenly.
9.) Nicotiana sylvestris is a statuesque member of the tobacco family that is a spectacular filler for points in your garden where some low maintenance drama is needed. And then there is the scent, which is divine. Plant these fragrant flowers near your patio or bedroom window as the scent is most pronounced at night. Nicotiana has enjoyed mixed reviews. It can self-seed aggressively, and make itself unpopular. To avoid this unruly behavior, deadhead the flowers before they set seed.
10.) The Butterfly Bush have very fragrant flowers, and I love a few by walkways we frequent.
You can visit ‘The Best Fragrant Flowers for Your Garden’ for 18 more. There are literally thousands more to be seen in God’s vast creation. One can only barely touch the surface of this dimension of His creative works.
And don’t forget that many herbs are highly fragrant! An herb garden can be a great place for pondering the mysteries of the universe, or just a good place to get some outrageous flavors to add to the morning’s eggs.
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” ~2 Corinthians 2: 14
Here are some past gardening posts you might find helpful as you plan to garden:
- Back To Eden~ How To Start A Sustainable Garden
- Sturdy Newspaper Seedling Pots ~ DIY
- What To Plant With Tomatoes ~ Companion Planting
- Ramblings About Rain-Barrels
- Better Nutritionally Than Blueberries ~Growing Aronias, Elderberries, and Currants
- Fresh Greens In The Fall? / October Green Smoothies
- 10 Garden Elements With Big Impact
- Straw Bale Urban Gardening~Ideas and Getting Started
…and there are many more in the archives…
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Thanks for reading!