Every garden should have a scented climber or two – not only do they give a heady perfume, but they take up very little room and add height and interest to walls, pergolas, trellis and arches.
Discover scented plants for every month.
Grow them around an outdoor seating area, or next to paths, where you take in their aroma as you stroll past them. Or grow them up a wall, where their scent can waft into your house.
Many climbers are more scented in the evening – discover plants for evening scent.
Here are some of the best scented climbers you can grow.
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. The plants are ideal for training up a wall or trellis, and can also be grown up a tree or with a climbing rose.
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.
Trachelospermum jasminoides 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.
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.
Also known as the chocolate vine, Akebia quinata 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.
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.
Clematis armandii has long, lance-shaped leaves that will quickly cover a wall or fence and is a welcome sight in early spring. 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.
Many climbing roses are wonderfully scented. ‘Albertine’ is a popular rambling rose with a strong fragrance. The reddish-salmon buds open to pink, almost double flowers. It’s a vigorous grower. Discover our top roses for scent.
Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’
Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a vigorous clematis that produces clouds of almond-scented white flowers with red edges from mid-summer to early autumn. It is the most heavily scented clematis, and grows well in dry shade.
Wisteria floribunda ‘Multijuga’ is less vigorous than Chinese wisteria, and is therefore less likely to cause problems when grown on buildings. The flowers open against a background of young foliage, with pendant clusters of scented pea-like, lilac-purple blooms in spring.