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Fragrant plants

I have grown a Mock Orange and Sweet Box in our front garden specifically for fragrance. Whilst both produce lots of flowers, neither give off the strong scent I expected, I can barely smell them when I go right up to them.

For our back garden, I have bought a jasmine which does seem to smell lovely but will take a while to grow.

I would like to fill our garden with more smaller plants rather than large shrubs that give off scent in the warmer months. We have a east facing garden and alkaline soil with partial shade. I am fairly new gardener and want low maintenhance plants.

Final thing, I'm not keen on lavender which I know definitely gives off a strong scent! Thanks


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  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,687

    The sense of smell is very strange. Neither of my parents could smell the old pre-North sea gas, the old coal gas. They were both very absent minded too, which made for some exciting and hair raising stories!

    Smallish scented plants - white alyssum? Just now, the Sedum spectabile, the Jasmine "Clotted Cream" (grown as ground cover), the late violas and the Phlox paniculata flowes have a lovely scent.


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • I found the same thing with Sweetbox (Sarcococca), but Philadelphus is usually good, though some varieties may be better than others. I grow a dwarf one 'Manteau d'Ermine' which smells lovely, though you have to get down on your hands and knees for a good sniff! It only grows to 75cm. There's honey suckle and roses of course, lots of the David Austin ones are wonderful for perfume. Honeysuckle smells best in the evenings, as it needs to attract moths to pollinate it. Petunias can be very strongly scented. Try growing the F2 varieties or singles rather than fancy double ones unless they say they are scented.

    Don't forget foliage plants. I am fond of old fashioned Lad's Love (Artemisia abrotanum) which makes a small woody shrub with pretty feathery silver grey leaves. The flowers are insignificant but it makes a good background to other things. I love to brush my hands through as I go past, and I do that to Rosemary too. Scented leaf geraniums (actually Pelargoniums) are lovely too. They aren't hardy so grow them in the garden in the summer and pot them up and put them on a windowsill to enjoy indoors in the winter. There are ones that small of lemon ( citriodora), orange (Prince of Orange) roses (Attar of Roses) as well as incense, nutmeg, cedarwood (like sharpened pencils!) and so on. Their flowers are smaller than the usual 'geraniums' but still pretty. Some of the newly popular salvias have nicely scented foliage too, as well as colourful flowers. I have one called 'Neon' that has a nice fruity fragrance and bright pink flowers.

    There are lilies that are fabulous for scent. 'Lilium Regale' is one of the best, tall with white flowers that have wine backed petals you can plant it at the back of a border and it will come up every year. Not all lilies are scented though, so do your homework and also be aware that they are very toxic to cats, if they get the pollen on their fur and lick it off. It stains dreadfully too, so they are safest away from path edges, you'll still be able to smell them! Low down lily of the valley is also a good one for perfume in a shady corner.

  • Zaluzianskya has a very strong scent in the evening. I grow mine in a container so that I can bring it in the house. Some garden centres sell them in Spring.


  • DimWitDimWit Posts: 553

    Carnations, pinks and sweet williams are easy to grow from seed, and usually

    very low budget.

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