If for no other reason, plants that provide fragrance should be included in the landscape because of the memories they can envoke. The scent of black locusts in bloom might instantly transport you to a summer visit to your grandparent’s farm in Tennessee. Or just a hint of the delicate fragrance exuded by sweet peas might bring to mind working in the garden with your mom. There is no arguing the power that fragrance has in our lives. Not only does it greatly influence our enjoyment of plants and flowers, it is integral to our enjoyment of food and provides us with all sorts of keys to our environment. In the plant world, fragrance is a survival mechanism. By producing a scent, a plant will attract the essential pollinators. The types of fragrances that appeal to people tend to be either sweet or spicy. There are plants that produce unpleasant scents both to attract specific pollinators such as carrion flies and to repel animals and other insects that might cause damage.

It is their nature that s ome plants are delicately scented and some can perfume the whole yard. But other factors can influence the intensity of fragrance too. For instance, when a plant is grown with a little less moisture, it tends to be more fragrant than it would be if it had received more. High temperatures also tend to intensify fragrance, and humid air holds fragrance better than dry air.

In the garden, there are lots of plants with very pleasing scents that can enhance your enjoyment of the garden. If you are selecting specific plants because of their fragrance, be sure to plant them where they will be most effective and enjoyed. Consider planting the smaller varieties in groupings to increase their impact. Full sun produces more fragrance than shade. In Victorian gardens, the walkways would be lined with plants such as scented geraniums. When the people walked by, their long skirts and coats would brush the plants, releasing their fragrance.

The following are lists of some of the many plants grown for fragrance. It certainly isn’t a list of everything, but it’s a good place to start.

Flowering Perennials
Rock Cress Arabis
Lilies of the Valley Convallaria
Carnations and Pinks Dianthus
Gas Plant Dictamnus
Hyperion and Mary Todd Daylily
Honeybells, Plantaginea and Royal Standard Hostas
Bearded Iris, mostvarieties
Perennial Sweet Pea Lathyrus
Lavender Lavandula
Peonies Paeonea
Sundrops Oenothera
Garden Mums Chrysanthemums
Meadowsweet Filipendula
Sweet Woodruff Galium
Dame’s Rocket Hesperis
Candytuft Iberis
Sweet Violets Viola
Garden Lilies, esp. oriental varieties
Bee Balm Monarda
Summer Phlox, some varieties
Catmint Nepeta
Chamomile Anthemis nobilis

Annuals
Heliotrope Heliotropum
Sweet Peas Lathyrus
Four O’Clock Mirabilis
Flowering Tobacco Nicotiana
Petunia Petunia
Marigolds Tagetes
Nasturtiums Tropaolum
Verbena Verbena
Pansies Viola
Sweet Alyssum Alyssum
Stocks Matthiola
Mignonette Reseda odorata
Trees
Amur Maple Acer ginnala
Magnolia Magnolia
Crabapples Malus
Cherries Prunus
Black Locust Robinia
Arborvitae – foliage
Linden Tilia

Shrubs
Amur Maple Acer ginnala
Butterfly Bush Buddleia
Clethra Clethra
Daphne Daphne
Fothergilla Fothergilla
Witch Hazel Hamamelis
Junipers – foliage
Lilacs Syringia
Mockorange Philadelphus
Rhododendrons Rhododendron
Azaleas Rhododendron
Roses, many varieties
Arborvitae – foliage
Bayberry Myrica

Perennial, but not hardy:
Scented Geraniums Pelargonium
Lemon Verbena Aloysia triphylla
Rosemary Rosmarinus

Vines
Honeysuckle Lonicera
Sweet Pea Lathyrus
Sweet Autumn Clematis Clematis
Aunt Dee’s Wisteria Wisteria

Herbs
Fennel Foeniculum
Hyssop Hyssopus
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
Mint Mentha
Oregano Origanum
Sage Salvia officinalis
Rue Ruta graveolens
Thyme Thymus
Chives Allium
Dill Anethum

Fragrant Foliage
Yarrow Achillea
Flowering Onion Allium
Wormwood Artemesia
Sweet Woodruff Galium
Bee Balm Monarda
Catmint Nepeta
Russian Sage Perovskia
Chamomile Anthemis
Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium

Bulbs
Grape Hyacinths Muscari
Hyacinths Hyacinthus
Tulips, some Tulipa
Daffodils, many Narcissus
Freesia Freesia
Allium Alliums
Snowdrops Galanthus

Recommended Products
McShane’s Nursery and Landscape Supply Quality Plants
Packaged Soils and Amendments
Packaged Mulches
Garden Food 10-20-10
Gardening Tools and Gloves

Planting you landscape with plants and trees of fragrance can enhance your landscape and create a greater sense of enjoyment. Here at McShane’s Nursery and Landscape Supply, we want you to have the exact landscape you want with the scents that you desire. Please ask a professional for help if you have any questions!

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