Spring is almost on us and now is the time to consider what you are going to plant in your garden this year. Being a perfumer, I always take fragrance into consideration before buying plants and you might like a few ideas in regard to what could be perfuming your backyard this year.
Lots of great fragrance plants dot the springtime landscape. Violets are inexpensive, downright invasive, great groundcover for shady areas and pump out a perfume which is subtle and exquisite in April. Be sure to see that they are the scented variety, not all are. Most fragrant violets are purple/mauve. Also, be sure that you are buying the hardy sort, Parma violets are wonderful but they won’t survive freezing winters and are better thought of as indoor plants.
Narcissus are some of the prettiest scents on the planet. They rank up there with osmanthus for sheer beauty. Easy to grow, cold hardy, late blooming (end of April after all of the other daffodils have come and gone), inexpensive and easily found, Cheerfulness is a great addition to your garden. Sir Winston Churchill is another variety of the late narcissus to consider.
On the subject of daffodils, and EARLY ones you might want to try out Tete-A-Tete. They are miniature daffodils, hardy as rocks, they will spread a bit after planted and smell really lovely. Also inexpensive, you could very likely afford to plant a great many for a small price.
Reticulated iris and yellow primroses have a beautiful violet-like fragrance. It is distinguishable from violet but it is in that family and I find iris and primrose hard to live without. The iris is a very hardly little flower, plant it once and it returns forever. Where I live, the primrose won’t survive our hot and humid summers, and so I grow it as an indoor plant. Both have a small fragrance, they don’t broadcast very far so be sure to remember to put your nose in their blooms as you pass by and you will be richly rewarded.
Don’t forget lily of the valley and grape hyacinths as well! They both have scent, lily of the valley is great for shady sections of your garden and has a very strong scent which can roll across a path in early May and enchant you with it’s petticoat-like flowers. Grape hyacinths are a beautiful surprise in tucked away spaces. Their stalks of blue flowers trimmed in white do have a special “grapy” smell to them and they make lovely cut flowers for tiny bouquets around your house.