No well-planned garden is complete without colorful flowers and beautiful scents. A fragrant garden can invigorate or relax, it can stir emotions, and a flower's scent may bring back memories from days gone by. When creating an aromatic garden, you can opt for simple scents, such as a couple of herb pots by the front door, or do something a little more intricate, like designating zones in your garden to complementary fragrances.
Planning Your Aromatic Garden
While your main priority is the scent of the plants, when planning your aromatic garden, give some thought to their color, the time of year they bloom, their size, and each of your plants' individual needs. This will leave you with a cohesive garden year round. To make it all the more delightful, bear in mind the following tips:
1. Place stronger smelling plants like jasmine and roses in a sunny spot.
2. Plants generally release their aroma when they are brushed against, touched or carried by the wind.
3. Plant herbs close to your kitchen. They will be easy to get to and you can enjoy their fragrance from inside.
For a truly fragrant garden include the following herbs, flowers and plants in your garden:
Their beautiful blooms and foliage, as well as their well-known fragrance, make gardenias an excellent choice for your garden. These evergreen shrubs love the heat, but don't stand up to cold weather too well. They thrive best in moderate year-round climates. They generally prefer partial shade and moist, yet well drained acidic soil.
Tip: Plant your gardenias in pots and bring them indoors once it starts to get chilly.
Dianthus comes in over 300 varieties, including sweet William, pink and carnations. Many types have a fragrant, spicy smell, similar to cinnamon or clove.
Tip: Dianthus are usually planted in borders or potted displays. Either way, they should be planted in full sun with well-drained soil.
This climber, features deep green leaves and fragrant, star-shaped flowers. It is easy to grow, however it can get pretty invasive, so regular pruning is required.
Tip: Place in full sun with moist or well-drained soil.
This plant comes in over 67 varieties. It's available in a variety of whites, pinks, reds and pastels - filling your garden with a strong, sweet fragrance. Its scent is generally strongest in the evening or night, when its trumpet shaped flowers open. They tend to prefer full sun to partial shade and moist soil with good drainage.
Tip: As their scent is strongest in the evening, grow them on your patio, enabling you to enjoy al fresco evening dining.
This beautiful speckled flower comes in shades of whites, pinks and yellows. They can grow up to six feet and generally bloom in late summer. They need well-drained soil and about six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day.
Tip: Lilies grow well in containers too, enabling you to position them in your garden effectively to reap maximum sunlight.
This simple, yet beautiful flower is easy to maintain and offers numerous therapeutic uses. Their leaves are especially fragrant and their flowers have a sweet resin-like aroma.
Tip: Calendula prefer full sun, however they do tolerate light shade in warmer areas.
Lavender's soothing scent and stunning blue-violet flowers make it an excellent choice for your garden. It has been found to be slightly calming and offers sedative effects when its scent is inhaled.
Tip: There are several varieties, so choose the right one for your climate.
Plant a pot or two of jasmine to truly enjoy your backyard. Research has discovered that the sweet smell of jasmine can calm nerves. In fact, it has been found to be as strong as valium.
Tip: Although most varieties of jasmine (there are over 300) prefer hot climates, some can be found in colder regions too. Its sweet, musky scent gets especially strong in the evening.
No aromatic garden is complete without roses. They are undeniably beautiful. Just be sure to choose a hardy variety that will suit your garden. Rose bushes vary in size too so you may need to consider how much space you can dedicate to this stunning flower.
Tip: Roses need to be watered frequently, especially in the first few weeks they have been potted. Be generous in your watering too, wetting the entire root zone.
While they may not bloom as often as their cousin, geranium, their undeniable scent makes them one of the best plants for your aromatic garden. You can choose from a variety of scents - they vary from apple, to apricot, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, nutmeg, orange, strawberry, rose and peppermint. They are best placed along hedging, borders or in a spot you enjoy spending most time in.
Tip: The leaves of this plant need to be touched or brushed in order to release their divine smell.
These shrubs don't require much maintenance - they don't need to be pruned to maintain their shape. They are also the best plants to have in your garden to attract wildlife, as Juniper provides food, shelter and nesting sites for birds.
Tip: Use the cones and young foliage for potpourri or to light fires in the winter.
Lemon balm is one of the most pleasing and freshest scents to have in your garden. This herb is pretty low maintenance too. It will grow in part shade to full sun, but needs rich, well-drained soil. Like its cousin mint, lemon balm can be quite invasive. One way to handle it is to remove the flowers as soon as they appear, limiting their spread.
Tip: To keep your garden as aromatic as possible, do not fertilize your lemon balm plant.
Chamomile is best known for its soothing effects, especially when taken as a tea. Its small, daisy-like flowers make it a pretty flower to admire in your garden. Chamomile best thrives in cool conditions with partial shade and dry soil.
Tip: Chamomile requires little effort to care for. It is tolerant to drought and fairly immune to most garden pests thanks to its strong yet relaxing scent.
Basil's strong, pungent, peppery and somewhat menthol aroma make it a must-have in an aromatic garden (especially if you are fond of preparing Italian recipes). To thrive, this herb needs full sunlight, plenty of water and excellent drainage. The herb is very sensitive to cold and just a light frost can kill it.
Tip: Once the flowers appear, remove them immediately to preserve the plant's great flavor.
Marjoram is another great choice to add to your aromatic garden. Its scent is similar to oregano, only sweeter. It is best planted in containers, window boxes or garden beds and must be positioned in full sun. While it can grow in most types of soil, with little water, it prefers fast-draining soil.
Tip: Use it as a border in your garden to help attract bees, butterflies and beneficial bugs.