London (change)
Today 18°C / 15°C
Tomorrow 20°C / 15°C

Scented climbers

Scented climbers add impact to the garden, providing architectural value as well as heady perfume. The fragrance of many of these plants intensifies in the evenings, so it's a good idea to grow them around your outdoor seating area.

Scented climbers also provide interest at the edges of paths, where you can take in their aroma as you stroll past them. Plant them where they can scramble over a pergola or fence, or train them up a wall, where their scent can waft into your house.

Browse our selection of scented climbers, below,

Photo by Marcus Harpur, copyright Gap Photos

Honeysuckle 'Graham Thomas'

The scent of honeysuckle on a midsummer evening makes it a choice climber to grow in the garden. In the wild it scrambles through hedgerows, so is suited to growing in partial shade. 'Graham Thomas' has large flower-heads, which open cream and quickly deepen to yellow, flowering for most of the summer. The plants are ideal for training up a wall or trellis, and can also be grown up a tree or with a climbing rose.

Sweet peas

Sweet peas

Annual sweet peas are the perfect scented climbers, providing a quick burst of colour and scent in the garden. They also make great cut flowers - just a few are needed to fill a room with their sweet fragrance. Sweet peas are ideal for growing up an obelisk or trellis, and work well growing with runner beans.

'Mixed Spencer Hybrids' are dwarf sweet peas, which can be grown into miniature hedges. Plants need a cool, moist root run and regular watering in dry weather.

Photo by Jonathan Buckley, copyright Gap Photos

Star jasmine

Star jasmine is a woody, evergreen climber with dark green leaves, and summer flowers with an intense, sweet fragrance. Half hardy, it's best grown against a sunny wall to protect it from severe frosts.

Photo by John Glover, copyright Gap Photos

Clematis montana

Clematis montana is a vigorous climber, so is ideal for covering unsightly walls and fences. It can also be trained up pergolas and trellis. It flowers from late spring to early summer, providing an early dose of fragrance, which is similar to the scent of almonds.

Photo by Neil Holmes, copyright Gap Photos

Akebia quinata

This unusual climber has maroon-chocolate flowers bearing an exotic, spicy fragrance with a hint of vanilla. It's best grown against a sunny wall to protect the flowers from late frosts. In very warm summers, the plants may produce large sausage-shaped fruit.

Photo by Neil Holmes, copyright Gap Photos


Jasmine produces delicately fragrant flowers from mid-summer to early autumn. A vigorous climber, it's best grown over a shed, porch, arbour or other outbuilding. It grows well with climbing roses, honeysuckle or clematis, but also looks good on its own.

Photo by Clive Nichols, copyright Gap Photos

Clematis armandii

Clematis armandii has long, lance-shaped leaves that will quickly cover a wall or fence. In early spring, 'Snowdrift' is smothered in delicately scented, star-shaped white flowers. Plant it near a doorway or open window to enjoy the evening scent, and give it plenty of room to spread out. It's best grown against a sheltered wall away from cold winds.

Photo by Mark Bolton, copyright Gap Photos

Rose 'Zephirine Drouhin'

One of the most reliable rambling roses, 'Zephirine Drouhin' is known for its highly scented, deep rose-pink flowers, which it produces en masse. It grows well on a north-facing wall and can also be grown as a shrub.

Photo by Mark Bolton, copyright Gap Photos

Rose 'New Dawn'

Another great climbing rose, 'New Dawn' produces sprays of fragrant, pale pearl-pink flowers from July to September. It's a lovely, repeat-flowering rose that flourishes in both sun or partial shade. A vigorous grower, it quickly covers a house or garden wall.

Photo by J S Sira, copyright Gap Photos

Clematis x triternata 'Rubromarginata'

This vigorous clematis produces clouds of hawthorn-scented white flowers with red edges from mid-summer to early autumn. 'Rubromarginata' is the most heavily scented clematis, and grows well in dry shade.

Discuss this plant feature

Talkback: Scented climbers
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step