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How to Create a Fragrant Flower Garden

Flowers not only dazzle our eyes, but they can delight our noses, as well! Here are some plants that will help your garden delight the senses. Those listed in italics are particularly intoxicating.


  • Hyacinths. Bulbs must be planted in fall about four to six weeks before the ground freezes.
  • Lily of the valley. Does well in shade.
  • Lilacs. A shrub; thrives in sandy soil.
  • Creeping phlox, especially Bruce’s White.
  • Pinks, a type of dianthus.
  • Sweet violet. Small purple or white flowers. Does well in partial shade.
  • Woodland phlox, especially Blue Perfume and White Perfume. Does well in shade.
  • Some daffodils, especially Buffawn, Canarybird, Cragford, Geranium, Trevithian and Tripartite.
  • Some irises, especially these bearded irises: Dark Passion, Fort Apache, Last Chance, Mary Frances, Old Black Magic, Pacific Mist, Scented Bubbles, Stepping Out, Thriller and Sweet Lena.
  • The tulip Apricot Beauty.
  • Viburnum shrubs, especially Koreanspice Viburnum, Pink Dawn, V. x burkwoodii, V. x carlcephalum, V. x judii, V. odoratissimum, V. farreri, and V. bitchiuense.
  • White forsythia. This shrub may even bloom in late winter, depending on your zone.
  • Winter hazel. This shrub sports one-inch yellow flowers and thrives in partial to full shade.
  • Wintersweet, also called witch hazel--yes, that natural antiseptic that’s good for your facial skin! This shrub may also bloom in late winter.


  • Roses. These particular varieties are easier to grow and long-blooming: Angel Face (three feet tall, lavender); Archduke Charles (four feet tall, red); Buff Beauty (12 feet tall, apricot); Hansa (five feet tall crimson); Heritage (six feet tall pink shrub); Louis Philipppe (four feet tall, red); La France (four feet tall, pink); Maggie (six feet tall, crimson); Nur Mahal (four feet tall, crimson); Pierrine (two feet tall, pink miniature); Souvenir de St. Anne’s (four feet tall, pale pink); Yellow Blaze (12 feet tall, yellow).
  • Lavender. This fragrant herb sports small purple blossoms. Rub your hands on the leaves, then smell your hands! Better yet, rub your hands on your neck for some completely natural perfume!
  • Sweet peas. This six-foot-tall vining plant thrives in cool weather, blooming in early summer.
  • Cinnamon vine. This flowering vine features a strong cinnamon fragrance. And the roots are edible if you cook them!
  • Some daylilies, especially Audacity Bound, Barbara Mitchell, Ellen Christine, Ever So Ruffled, Forty Carats, Fragrant Light, Hyperion, Ida Miles, Kathy Rood, Scape Stopper, Tetrina's Daughter, Top Honors and Vanilla Fluff.
  • Garden phlox, especially white David, Blue Paradise, pink Eden's Crush, and Old Cellarhole.
  • Some lilies, including Giant Lily and Yellow Spot Ginger Lily. Many oriental and hybrid trumpet lilies are also quite fragrant, including Case Blanca, Goldband Lily, Regal Lily and Madonna Lilly.

  • Some hostas, namely Fragrant Bouquet, Guacamole and the species H. plantaginea.
  • Swamp milkweed. The rich vanilla scent attracts hummingbirds and bees.
  • Moonflower. This vine can grow to be 15 feet tall. Its large white flowers open at dusk.
  • Some clematis, namely Clematis armandii, C. flammula, C. montana and sweet autumn clematis.
  • Summersweet, also called Sweet Pepperbush. This shrub features six-inch clusters of white flowers, and it thrives in partial or full shade.
  • Variegated kiwi vine. This vine sports white flowers in early summer.


  • Autumn snakeroot. This plant features white flowers in foot-long spikes. It thrives in partial shade.
  • Bouncing Bet. Clusters of white, pink or red, three-inch flowers in summer and fall.
  • Chocolate daisy. Also called Green Eyes. If you’re a chocoholic, this one is a must for your garden! Chocolate-scented yellow daisy flowers in summer and fall.

Varied Bloom Times

  • Azaleas. The native deciduous varieties of this shrub feature pastel pink, white or yellow flowers. This includes the Coast Azalea, Sweet Azalea, Pinxterbloom Azalea, Roseshell Azalea and Swamp Azalea.
  • Honeysuckle. Many vining species are quite fragrant, including Etruscan Honeysuckle, Goldflame Honeysuckle, Common Honeysuckle and Italian Honeysuckle.
  • Jasmine. Especially Poet's Jasmine, Winter Jasmine, Arabian Jasmine and Pink Summer Jasmine.

Now you can plan a garden that’s intoxicating to your eyes and your nose!

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