There’s no good reason to resist adding some scent to your yard or landscape. Fragrance makes all the difference between seeing a beautiful garden or experiencing it. Think of scent in the garden like salt is in the kitchen.
When you’re considering fragrant plants, remember that most plants have a specific season for scent. For instance, plants whose scent comes from their blossoms are obviously certainly seasonal, But some (like rosemary) rely on their scented foliage instead. Want to breath in beauty all year long? Make a list of plants that smell lovely during spring, those with summer scent, and so on and perfume your garden throughout the seasons.
Evening strolls in the garden are more romantic when night-scented flowers such as sweet rocket and flowering tobacco perfume the air. Which flowers smell the best? Scent, like beauty, is in the nose of the beholder. Still, some flowers have practically a cult following; stocks (annual), pink jasmine, and honeysuckle vines at the top of my personal list.
People tend to make their own associations with certain scents; therefore, fragrance is sometimes very personal and may even feel therapeutic. Some scents are easily identifiable and may be described within the name of a plant variety, such as Chocolate Cosmos, Lemon Verbena, or Rose and Peppermint Geranium. Then there are those general scents, like that of roses, gardenias, or paperwhites that evoke a feeling or a memory.
Be careful not to plant an overabundance of one variety too close to an area where people hang out. A couple of scented plants nearby is wonderful, but too much of a good thing can be exactly that. Also, if you like several different fragrances, plant them several plants over from one another so they don’t compete with each other. If you have no choice but to plant close together, choose plants that bloom in different seasons so the fragrances aren’t compromised.
You can strategically place pots and containers near windows and doorways to take full advantage of the plants. One of my favorite places to plant for scent is by windows. I have a large honeysuckle outside of our master bedroom window that perfumes my room when the windows are open. Pink jasmine is planted outside the kitchen window for the same reason.
Aside from plants that let their essence go as their blossoms open, there are those that release scent anytime they’re gently stroked or brushed past. A human touch or the heat of the sun can release volatile oils for some aromatic plants. Including rosemary, lavender, santolina, southernwood, and creeping thyme. Plant sprawlers like creeping thyme between pavers, or lavender along a path to enjoy a little aromatherapy each time you walk by.