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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Five scented plants for December.