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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.