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David Hurrion

I've been doing lots of research on scented flowers recently, as I'd like to plant more in my garden. I already have lots of fragrant, winter-flowering plants – viburnum, winter honeysuckle, sarcococca etc – but want more scented spring and summer blooms. Anyone got any favourites to suggest?

Laura Corin

I can tell you what I just put in, but I don't know how successful they will be.  

Viburnum Farrerri nanum

Viburnum burkwoodii Anne Russell  

Viburrnum carlcephalum snowball  

Philadelphus mock orange belle Etoile

Osmanthus delavayi  

Buddleia Davidii Black Knight

Rosa Wild Edric

Rosa Harlow Carr  


My favourite for scent are Geraniums - unfortunately I could not tell you if any are stronger than others - I usually plant a selection together to get the colour as well.   

My fave rave at the moment is Daphne bholua 'Jaqueline Postill', beloved by Roy Davison. It's a slow growing semi-evergreen that will get to 6ft. They are devilishly expensive (£30-60) but will reward you for weeks with their waxy very fragrant flowers. They do like a little shelter, but this helps the fragrance to linger. May I also add V.carlessii to the above list. Deciduous to about 4ft, huge pompons of lily-scented white, flushed pink flowers, now. Both are well worth a go for this time of the year. Underplant with Eranthis corms and you'll think you've gone to heaven!

You'll go a long way to beat the fragrance of Lilies for the summer. I always sprinkle some 'Night-scented stocks' around seating areas that we sit in in the evening. They look very un-promising, but pack quite an aromatic punch.

David, if you want  climber try trachelospermum jasminoides and for something in a pot, tuberose.

Both delicious.

BTW, any advice on dahlias, I've recently become rather passionate about them.  Growing some from seed, self saved and bought.  Plus I've several bishop types and cactus tubers that I've had for two years, new pom poms this year.

What varieties would you recommend?   I grow them all in pots.




Lavender,Heliotrope (not hardy) and herbs with lovely foliage - Lemon Verbena,Pineapple and Tangerine Sage,African Blue Basil, Oregano  to name but  a few .

Pam x


You didn't say what sort of plants you wanted. In my opinion you can't beat hyacinths or lilies for fragrance. But maybe you don't fancy bulbs. Pinks are great but from one extreme to another how about 'Magnolia grandiflora' The scent from the flowers is fantastic. Flowers are 10-12 inches across and bloom from June to October. Well mine does . See my photo by my name, bees love it.

Nice to hear you on Radio 2 today David!

Green Magpie

Wallflowers. Some scented flowers make me wheeze (e.g. the hyacinth family, and viburnum) but I love the scent of wallflowers. Mine have been in bloom since January, and the bees love them too.  Oh, and I'm looking forward to the clove-scented pinks (dianthus) later in the spring.


Nicotianas are good, I also love the scent of wallflowers.

I am growing Siberian Wallflowers from seed - I sowed them late autumn and they are now starting to flower in a lovely orange colour.  The scent is absolutely delicious!  They are easy to grow too.  I am also growing Nicotiana as they are also known for their lovely scent.

How about a list of scent for shade which is a little more challenging. Roses like Zephrine Drouhin, Lily of the valley, Phlox, some clematis, Gardenia and honeysuckle as well as Sarcocccca, Daphnes and some Azaleas and Rhododenrons as well as some Hostas.

For Spring, try Lilac - some varieties are more highly scented than others - and they need space! Also Hyacynths

For Summer - Lavender, Roses (repeat flowering giving scent all Summer), Jasmine (though it's a bit of a thug once it gets established and can swamp plants nearby), Night scented Stocks, Nicotiana Fragrant Cloud.

I like these best:

'Rose of May' narcissus for late spring (well.. May!), Nicotiana, <span class="productClass">Zaluzianskya capensis (fantastic in the evenings), night scented stocks, Dianthus superbus. 



I love my Clematis Armandii and Summer Jasmine. Both quite vigorous but great if you have the space.


I have got a lovely honeysuckle in my garden.  The flowers are quite small but they smell fantastic.  I layered the original plant and now have its offspring in all corners, even growing up the washing line post.

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