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Scented, fragrant and aromatic plants and shrubs 

Fragrance - next to flower colour - is one of the most sought-after attributes when choosing plants and shrubs.

Fragrant flowers, scented plants and aromatic foliage are a 'must' for all gardens. There are many plants and shrubs, which are not noted generally for their fragrance, but which will fill a small - or large - garden with their aroma. 

I think that my all-time favourite scented plant, must be the flowering shrub, Elaeagnus ebbingei. A grey-green leaved evergreen with spectacular white undersides to the leaves, the flowers are hardly noticeable in the visual sense but oh boy - the scent! August, September, October and November even. This has to be the best. It will grow anywhere; including a North facing shaded aspect, and grows to 8 feet or so if allowed.

When thinking of scented plants, don’t forget the aromatic foliage either, Lavenders, Rosmarinus, Choisya, Santolina, Perovskia, Laurus (The Bay), Myrtus and Helichrysum are good - and all evergreen.

Yellow Flowers on Helichrysum italicum - Curry Plant Foliage of Choisya ternata Sungold - aromatic when crushed or brushed. Assorted colours on Azalea mollis for fragrance
Helichrysum (Curry Plant)          Choisya ternata Sungold       Azalea mollis - especially yellows

For scented flowers on plants - other than the older varieties of roses of course -

  • The winter flowering Honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima,(A shrubby type) is gorgeous and - still in the winter period -
  • The Mahonias Charity and japonica excel.
  • Edgeworthia chrysantha is little known, but has subtle scented flower in mid-winter.
  • Elaeagnus ebbingei has the most wonderful scented flowers - and in November/December at that.
  • Osmanthus burkwoodii,
  • Ribes odoratum and
  • Spartium junceum are also good. Whatever you do, don’t forget the
  • Deciduous azaleas - particularly the occidentalis forms - just heaven!. I’m sure that you must already know of the
  • mock orange (Philadelphus virginalis is superb and so is P. Beauclerk). I must also mention the winter
  • Viburnums V. x bodnantense, and later - into the spring - then you should sniff out the V. carlcephalum, V. burkwoodii and most certainly V carlesii.

The climbing shrubs such as the honeysuckles (Lonicera x americana is good ) and Summer Jasmine (Jasminum officinalis ) are also popular. Azara microphylla - not too well known - has exquisitely scented tiny yellow flowers.

Oooohhh just bottle that lot and sprinkle it about.  

By David Hughes - info@gardenseeker.com