Lilium regale

Scented plants for every month

Discover how to fill your garden with scent for every month of the year.

No garden is complete without scent, and with a bit of planning, it’s possible to enjoy scent in the garden during every month of the year.

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Most plants will produce the best fragrance in a warm, sheltered spot. Be sure to plant them somewhere where you will enjoy them – close to a seating area or a front or back door, for example.

Discover plants for evening scent.

Here are our suggestions for plants that not only look wonderful, but are deliciously scented, too – for every month of the year.

With a bit of planning, it's possible to enjoy scent in the garden in every month of the year.

January

Chimonanthus praecox is known as ‘wintersweet’ – and it’s fragrance can brighten a winter’s day, and a cut stem can perfume a room. Grow against a sheltered, south-facing wall; it may take several years to flower.

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February

The spidery flowers of witch hazels (Hamamelis) have an intense fragrance and offer colour at an often gloomy time of year.

Five scented plants for February.

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March

Hyacinths have a strong, very distinctive scent. They are completely hardy and can be grown in the garden; they can also be grown indoors, where they will flower earlier.

Five scented plants for March.

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April

The blooms of lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) have a delightful scent and are much prized by florists. It thrives in a moist, shaded spot.

Five scented plants for April.

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May

A wisteria in full bloom is a spectacular sight, and it has a delightful scent, too. You may need to be patient – wisterias are slow to establish, and you may wait several years for flowers.

Five scented plants for May.

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June

The spectacular blooms of the Chinese lily, Lilium regale, have a heady scent. They look wonderful in borders or pots and make excellent cut flowers. Toxic to cats.

Five scented plants for June.

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July

Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) come in a fantastic range of colours and are easy to grow from seed. They have a wonderful, distinctive scent and make great cut flowers. Highly scented varieties include ‘Matucana’, ‘Albutt Blue’ and ‘Cupani’.

Five scented plants for July.

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August

Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is an evergreen climber with jasmine-scented flowers – invaluable for growing along a fence, or up a trellis or pergola. It thrives in a sunny, sheltered spot in milder parts of the UK.

Five scented plants for August.

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September

The cup and saucer vine (Cobaea scandens) is a rampant climber that will quickly scramble up a trellis or obelisk. It produces sweetly scented flowers for months.

Five scented plants for September.

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October

Abelia x grandiflora flowers for several months, well into autumn. The sunnier the spot, the more scented flowers it will produce – and they are much loved by bees.

Five scented plants for October.

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November

Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ bears beautiful, scented pink flowers on bare stems from November onwards. Grow it where you can appreciate its scent in winter – near the front or back door, for example.

Five scented plants for November.

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December

The tiny white flowers of Christmas box, Sarcococca confusa, are insignificant, but they certainly pack a punch – they can stop you in your tracks. A useful evergreen for shade.

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Five scented plants for December.

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