Even the prettiest flower in the garden can get boring without a lack of scent. On a biological level, scent is important in attracting pollinators, thus perpetuating the life cycle of the plant. Stirred by the faintest breeze, the distinct fragrance of certain flowers is indelible, evoking a nostalgia of a place that never was. On the other spectrum, the aptly-named corpse flower carries with it the stench reek of rotting carrion to attract the sordid denizens of the rainforest – flies and beetles.
Long after they have faded, the fragrance of flowers lives on. While not originally grown for consumption, the glorious scent of flowers proves to be instantly curative. Below are eleven of the most fragrant flowers for your garden that are heavenly enough to brighten even the sourest moods.cure even a sickly Victorian child.
The color of royalty, lavender denotes serenity and purity. When the symbolism of lavender is taken into account, it is safe to say that it refers to an authentic love that is neither the cheap thrills nor the paltry imitations the depraved crave. In accordance with its connotations, LlLavender is a time-tested staple that can withstand hot, dry conditions. Lavender is a highly aromatic herb that can be grown in herb gardens or flowering borders. Some studies suggest that lavender can help alleviate insomnia and relieve stress.
Though they share resemblance to roses, gardenias retain a soft romanticism different from the torrid beauty of roses. Gardenias have readily adapted to the Southern climate, where they are often mistaken as native flowers. In divinity, gardenias were once associated with Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Allegedly, one whiff was potent enough to transport one to the Elysian fields of paradise. However, exotic flowers don’t last long, and gardenias are known to be notoriously high-maintenance. Still, many Southern gardeners attest to its prized fragrance as evidence that this temperamental beauty is a worthwhile endeavor. They require acidic soil high in organic content, regular watering, high humidity, and day temperatures of 65-70°F.
The rich, intoxicating scent of jasmine has made its way into many perfumes, but they pale in comparison to their authentic counterparts. Those who seek to savor the fragrance of their garden during nocturnal hours can consider growing the fragrant night-blooming jasmine, or night-blooming jessamine. Night-blooming jasmine is actually not a true jasmine and is part of the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes and potatoes. Some gardeners in northern climates choose to grow jasmine as a houseplant or wheel it indoors in elevated rolling planters. Vego Garden’s self-watering raised garden bed contains a self-watering wicking cell, which collects excess water and redistributes it to your plants over time, reducing the need to water.
Heliotrope is a quirky plant with a complex aroma reminiscent of vanilla – some even say it smells like cherry pie. Fated to an unusual name, heliotrope may not capture the imagination of poets, but its unique appearance, featuring clumps of tiny violet flowers, deems it worthy of a mention. It prefers climates with warm days and cool nights and can be grown in partial shade in areas with hot summers.
5. Mock Orange
Beginning in late spring, mock orange shrubs explode in a profusion of snow-white flowers. True to its name, it emits a slightly citrusy scent akin to orange blossoms. Unlike certain varieties of flowers, whose scent may prove too cloying or astringent for some, the gentle fragrance of mock orange is sure to assuage even the most discerning connoisseur. When trained to grow on trellises, it clambers skywards in frothy masses, its delightful scent drifting towards an open windowsill on the summer freeze.
Gardeners often lament the loss of fragrance among newer rose cultivars, who have mainly been bred for disease-resistance, not scent. Yet, many scented roses are still available, their revival largely credited to David Austin. With their massive blooms and pastel colors, David Austin roses are coveted for their fragrance, many of which carry the distinct scent of myrrh – a substance often linked to divinity. Though roses are often linked to a singular scent, rose scents can take on many delineations, including sweet, spicy, or citrusy. Before buying a rose for its scent, it is best to smell it first.
With its enticing perfume and showy blossoms, hyacinths are seen as harbingers of spring. Their overpoweringover-powering scent and poisonous bulbs renders them deer-resistant. Great for borders, beds, rock gardens, and containers, hyacinths lend a burst of bright color to an otherwise drab environment. It can tolerate drought but requires moisture during the growing season.
Honeysuckle exudes a heady nectar scent – a combination of honey and citrus – that conjures the innocence of childhood. At dusk, the scent is unmistakable, floating towards you like a hymn. A slow starter, it can take up to three years for honeysuckle vines to flower, but once it does, it rewards with spectacular vines laden with booms. Make sure to only grow native species of honeysuckle, as invasive species can form dense thickets and cause problems for the native plants of the area.
The jewel-like colors of freesia flowers are further heightened by their sweet, fruity fragrance –an enigma in itself to decipher. Some claim it is reminiscent of Fruit Loops while others say it is akin to strawberries. Blooming in the springtime for up to six weeks or longer, they prefer moist soil and full sun, though they can tolerate partial shade.
Once the flowers of royalty, magnolias still retain a regal splendor that makes it the favorite of many Southern gardeners. They can be both evergreen and deciduous, and can range from small shrubs to towering trees. A magnolia renowned for its fragrance is the classic southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora).
11. Stargazer Lily
The stargazer lily, a flamboyant flower with an intense scent, is not for the apprehensive crowd. Everywhere it goes, it vies for attention, and can become a bit overwhelming for more staid types. Its opulent flowers, mottled with dusky spots, are sure to attract butterflies. Position stargazer lilies above low-dwelling plants for a variegated look. The Cascading Raised Bed is a tiered raised bed perfect for layering plants of different textures and colors.