A fragrant garden elevates the beauty of a garden to a new level, and learning how to create a fragrant garden is quite simple. The key to enjoying fragrant floral beauty is not only about the flower choices but where those aromatic plants are placed.
Being able to open a window or door and inhaling the sweet fragrance of peonies, gardenias, and lavender can help reduce stress even when you don’t see the plant. Read on to discover how to create a fragrant garden by planting the right flowers in the right locations.
Location For A Fragrant Garden
Select a location that is near an area where you spend a lot of time. It can be indoors or outdoors, a large space or small space. Even if you don’t have landspace for planting a traditional flower garden, a hanging basket of jasmine outside of a kitchen window can fill the room with floral fragrance when the window is open. The delicate white blooms will also attract pollinators for you to observe.
Outside of a window, beside or the front or rear door of your home, around a porch, patio, deck, or carport, along a walking trail, near an outdoor seating area, or in a meditative garden. Wherever you are there is always room for a fragrant plant or two.
Different fragrances evoke different types of feelings, like the way the scent of lavender relaxes and soothes the nerves. The desired result is something to be considered when selecting flowers for a fragrant garden.
The amount of sunlight the area receives is another thing to consider when making plant choices. Some plants are sun-lovers, some are shade-lovers, and other plants fall somewhere in the middle. Most flowering plants will need 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day for best floral and fragrance production.
Select flowers that will bloom in spring, some to bloom in summer, and some that will bloom in the autumn/fall so you can enjoy the colorful fragrance for most of the year.
Spring Blooming Fragrance
Poenies produce big blooms and big fragrance for about 1-month during the spring. Peonies grow best in full sun and fertile soil. The plants will get top-heavy and need to be staked when in full bloom. Dead-head when blooms fade and this perennial plant will create a lovely green shrub throughout summer.
Gardenias are small-growing evergreen shrubs that produce fragrant white blooms in late spring. Plant them in full sun and keep the soil consistently moist. Gardenias make excellent cut flowers and will fill an indoor space will perfumed fragrance.
Lilacs will grow into a small evergreen shrub that can reach up to 15-feet (4.5 m) tall if left unpruned. Plant lilacs in full sun and well-draining soil. The shrub is hardy, low-maintenance, and will produce spikes of fragrant purple blooms from spring to mid-summer and attract pollinators.
Summer Blooming Fragrance
Oriental Lilies grow from bulbs and can reach a mature height of 4-feet (1.2 m). Plant bulbs in full sun and well-draining soil in spring and enjoy the large, fragrant blooms throughout the summer. Dead-head as needed but don’t cut back foliage until it turns brown. Mild climates can allow the bulbs to remain in-ground during the winter by adding 2-inches (5 cm) of mulch on top at the beginning of autumn/fall. In colder climates, the Oriental Lily bulbs should be removed from the soil before winter and re-planted in the spring.
Lavender is a summertime favorite but some varieties will start blooming in spring and last until late summer. Whichever variety you choose to grow, plant lavender in full sun and well-draining soil. Lavender is hardy and easy to grow in a container of in-ground.
The plant will reach 1-2 feet (30 – 6- cm) tall when mature and send up spikes of fragrant purple flowers. The blooms will attract pollinators and also make long-lasting cut flowers.
Sweet Peas are easy to grow and produce multi-colored, fragrant blooms throughout the summer. Sow Sweet Pea seeds directly into soil (in-ground or container) in late spring after all danger of frost has passed. Select a sunny location with well-draining soil for planting seeds.
Sweet Pea is a vining plant that will produce branches 4-6 feet (1.2 – 1.8 m) long. Provide a trellis to keep the vine growing upright or a hanging container so the vining branches can grow over the side and downward.
If you have a pergola, garden trellis, or fence, a honeysuckle vine will cover it with a fast-growing vine and small yellow blooms that smell unmistakenly like honey.
Honeysuckle is not picky about the soil its’ planted in but it does grow best in full sun. This is a hardy vine that is low-maintenance.
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Sweet Autumn Clematis is a perennial shrub that will produce fragrant blooms on new wood in late summer. The flower buds will appear in mid-summer and the shrub will be covered with small fragrant white blooms until frost.
Sweet Autumn Clematis grows best in partial shade and cool, moist soil. The plant will reach about 15-feet (4.5 m) when mature.
Black Beauty Snakeroot
Black Beauty Snakeroot, also known as Black Cohosh, is an attractive plant throughout the summer months. The large purplish-black leaves make a great backdrop for lower growing plants in a fragrant garden, and then in autumn/fall, the plant will produce fragrant spikes of white flowers that smell like vanilla. The plant will reach 3-feet ( 90 cm) when mature, but the fall flower spikes will reach 6-7 feet (1.8 – 2.1 m). Plant Black Beauty Snakeroot in full sun in late fall or early spring.
Sweet Alyssum is a low-growing annual that creates a 6-inch ( 15 cm) high mound that will be covered with fragrant white flowers in the autumn/fall. It’s a hardy plant that is not picky about soil conditions and grows well in partial sun. Plant Sweet Alyssum seeds in late spring after all danger of frost has passed.
Nicotiana is an annual flowering plant that smells the strongest in the late evenings. Ideal for growing in a container in a semi-shady location.
Moon Flower is a vining plant that produces large, white, trumpet-shaped blooms that will fill the nighttime air with fragrance. This is a tropical plant that does best in full sun and moist soil.