Fragrant Flowers for Springtime

Studio 5 contributor Darin Engh is here to help us find the best plants for your nose.

Since people are often sitting with their noses right at plant height, it’s a wonderful opportunity to really enjoy the scent. Compact fragrant plants for patio side settings include Oriental lilies, hyacinths, stock, heliotropes, azaleas, dwarf lilacs, gardenias, some types of roses, and some types of flowering tobacco. Conveniently, most plants release their fragrance best in late afternoon or early evening, just when you’re getting home from work and need a fragrant, relaxing setting the most.

It is possible to create a garden without paying any attention to scent, and indeed many gardens are planned with exclusive regard for form and color. Yet, to ignore scent is to remove the dimension that most enraptures any visitor to a garden; scent is the most evocative of our sensations, perhaps because it connects with parts of the brain that also handle emotion, and our childhood memories of gardens are typically anchored in scent rather than visual stimuli.

Gardens are perfumed both by flowers and foliage. Some scents are secrets—the delicate perfumes of individual flowers must be sampled by a curious nose—while others are more public, filling the garden and creating a distinctive atmosphere across a wide area. Most fragrant foliage needs to be crushed or brushed against before it releases its scent and is well suited to paths and walks.

Try planting roses or other fragrant climbers over a framework under which you can sit and relax after work; night -scented climbers, such as honeysuckle and jasmine are ideally suited near open windows, or around areas in which you entertain during the long summer evenings.

Fragrant Plant List

• Roses

• Pinks & Sweet William (Dianthus)

• Lily-of-the-valley

• Phlox

• Sweet Pea

• Lily

• Lavender

• Honeysuckle

• Jasmine

• Wisteria

• Lilac

• Clematis

• Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa)

• Sweet Woodruff

• Stock

• Wallflower

• Fragrant Daylily

• Yarrow

• Chives

• Lemon Verbena

• Rosemary

• Marigold

• Chamomile

• Rock Rose

• Carnations

• Hyacinth

• Blue Hyssop

• Lemon Balm

• Peppermint

• Bee Balm

• Catnip

• Sweet Basil

• Rose Geranium

• Sage

• Savory

• Broom

• Thyme

• Nasturtium

• Heliotrope

• Sweet Violets

• Candytuft

• Jupiter’s Beard

• Sage

For more information, you can contact Darin at Engh Gardens in Sandy or online at

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