Scent is as important as colour and texture in the garden and has the power to take us back to forgotten moments that remind of people and places. Few of us can resist a frilly bunch of sweet peas or a gorgeous velvety rose as we take in their delicious perfume.
The scent that flowers produce whilst appreciated by us humans have another function and that is to draw insects for pollination. Flowers that release their scent during the daytime attract bees, hoverflies and butterflies, whilst nighttime perfume suppliers attract moths.
In addition, flowers like lavender, rosemary and agastache secrete an oil through the underside of their leaves which acts as a deterrent to a would-be grazing animal not to eat them!
Position fragrant plants near to a sheltered seating area or a frequently used doorway and consider plants that bloom at nose level when you are sitting or standing, or above head height to provide a canopy for a pergola or arbour.
There are so many plants to choose from, but here are just a few of my suggestions to fill your own garden with 24 hours of delicious scent using plants that fill the air with their scent.
Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ this gorgeous deep pink rose can be grown as a shrub rose or climber, for me is one of the best roses for the summer garden.
I must include sweet peas. Just a single packet of seeds can produce so many multi-coloured blooms that say summer to me, and nothing beats a vase of these cheery blooms to bring a smile to my face.
Lavender this summer favourite can instantly transport you to the fields of Provence in the South of France, perhaps the nearest to a holiday you will get this year!
My selection for the best evening scented flowers includes Nicotiana Sylvestris or tobacco plant. This biennial or short-lived perennial grows to about 1.5m. makes for an elegant plant with its long white flowers is best grown at the back of a border or in pots.
Night Scented Phlox (mattiola longipetala), these easy to grow annuals may have tiny blooms but they certainly pack a punch. Sow in July for late summer colour.
Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) ‘Star Jasmine’ a prolific climber, perfect for covering a pergola around a seating area. These tiny white flowers tinged with pink provide a lovely heady scent and the evergreen foliage is perfect to provide all year-round cover for structures.
Of course, it is not just the perennials and climbers I have suggested that will fill your garden with scent. Trees, shrubs, and bulbs all have something to add to the ‘day long scent party’, so when you select your next purchase at the garden centre, be sure to include scent amongst your reasons for buying.
Until next time