Whether your garden is or manicured and orderly, a sweet scent will entice you to stop and breathe in its beauty. After all, a garden should engage all of your senses. "Texture, color and seasonality are all important concepts, but scent often is overlooked when designing a garden," says Boyce Tankersley, director of living plant documentation at the . "Fragrance adds an extra layer of richness to the landscape." Even if you , you still can indulge in the luxury of scented plants. Place them where they will be most appreciated such as near your front door, along walkways where you'll brush by them and release their sweetness, or near windows where you can pick up their scents on the breeze.
Try adding a few of these fragrant favorites to enhance your garden's personality:
Tiny blooms on this delicate annual beckon to pollinators. Sweet alyssum looks lovely cascading from containers, window boxes and hanging baskets or tucked into a rock garden as a . Likes full to part sun.
•Snow Princess: profuse white blooms all season long without deadheading
•Dark Knight: deep purple blooms pair well with other annuals in containers
This showy, vigorous perennial vine spills beautifully over a trellis or fence-line and pollinators love it, says Tankersley. Look for the native or newer types, which are not invasive like Japanese honeysuckle. Prefers full sun.
•Yellow honeysuckle: native variety which tolerates a variety of soils
•Scentsation: flowers from mid-spring to late summer, followed by bright red berries
"Every garden should have at least one rose," says Tankersley. "They're not as fussy as many people believe, and many newer roses also are highly selected for insect and disease resistance." When selecting a plant, read the tags and look for those that specifically state that they're scented, as some types have been bred more for form than fragrance. Blooms best in full sun.
•Mr. Lincoln: an old favorite in a striking scarlet red color with incredible scent
•Princesse Charlene de Monaco: a new scented rose with light apricot to pink double flowers
Phlox come in shades of pink, white, salmon, purples, red and bi-colors. Plant as part of a mixed border or in large swaths for impact, suggests Tankersley. Many types self-seed, so they'll come back on their own next year. Give them plenty of air circulation so they won't get powdery mildew. Most prefer full sun but will tolerate some shade in hotter climates.
•David: a pure white tall variety that's especially fragrant
•Flame Pink: a compact hot pink type with an extra-long bloom time
Sometimes called summer lilac, this sturdy little shrub in shades of white, pink, or purple withstands drought, blooms all season long, and attracts pollinators. They're now available in dwarf varieties so they won't overtake your garden, and newer types are not invasive. Set in borders or as mass plantings. Likes full sun.
•Lo & Behold Blue Chip Jr.: which grows just 18 to 30 inches tall to fit in smaller spaces
•Asian Moon: larger size with deep purple flowers that have orange throats
This spring-flowering tree is a showy addition to the landscape with small crabapples and attractive fall color. Newer types are more disease-resistant. Likes full sun.
•Prarifire: Dense, rounded shape with pinkish-red buds and good disease resistance
•Royal Raindrops: Magenta flowers and striking deep purple foliage all season long
This shrubby perennial plant with glossy dark green foliage may require staking to keep its heavy blooms from drooping, but their lush, exuberant flowers are worth a tiny bit of extra work. Don't plant too deep or they won't bloom. The ants which visit the flowers aren't pests; they're simply sipping the nectar, says Tankersley. Prefers full sun.
•Festiva Maxima: a classic for generations with its pure white blooms with crimson flecks
•Sarah Bernhardt: an heirloom with gorgeous medium-pink double blooms
Dianthus is a low-growing perennial with a spicy or vanilla-like scent. It's often called 'pinks' due to the fringed flower petals that appear to have been cut with pinking shears. Works well as edging or in containers. Likes full sun.
•Fruit Punch Sweetie Pie: Pink flowers dance over silvery-blue mounds of grass-like foliage
•Itsaul White: Has pretty white double flowers with lots of fringe
This spicy-sweet smelling annual in shades of pink, purple, and white thrives in cool temperatures, so plant it as soon as the weather breaks in spring. Makes beautiful bouquets. Prefers sun to part shade.
•Quartet Pink: Creamy yellow centers with pink edges and clove scent
•Katz Ruby: Striking wine-red blooms on nice long stems for cutting
Viburnums are tough as nails, and these spring-blooming shrubs offer pretty pinkish-white flowers with a distinctively spicy scent. Generally deer-resistant, too. Likes part sun to sun.
•Spice Girl: Pinkish flowers on a sturdy shrub with good fall color
•Spice Baby: White flowers on a more compact plant