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Jacque Tucker: How to make your garden smell great

Publish Date
Sun, 11 Sep 2016, 10:06am

Jacque Tucker: How to make your garden smell great

Publish Date
Sun, 11 Sep 2016, 10:06am

A couple of sunny days under our belts and suddenly we’re thinking about sitting outside again. Now is the time to add a whole new layer to your outdoor living areas with fragrance – it can elevate an ordinary space into somewhere quite special.


  • Fragrant plants are great around entertaining areas, but also along paths you use a lot, and near windows that get opened wide in summer.
  • Consider where your prevailing wind comes from – no point in planting in a spot that only benefits the neighbours!
  • A confined space like a sheltered courtyard is perfect for trapping fragrance.
  • Plant small fragrant plants like honey scented alyssum between paving stones.
  • Put fragrant plants like Heliotrope (cherry pie) in pots so that they’re at nose level when you sit down.
  • Cover bare walls with a scented climber like star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) or  Stephanotis .
  • Want scent en masse? Plant a hedge!  Great options include Michelia figo (port wine magnolia), Murraya paniculata (mock orange), Osmanthus delavayi ‘Pearly Gates’, Michelias like the ‘Fairy Magnolia’ range and Michelia yunnanensis (with a lemony vanilla smell).  Rosemary and lavender are perfect near the veges or herbs and in a Mediterranean style garden.
  • Plant something fragrant that reminds you of someone special – your Nana’s favourite sweetpeas for example…


SHRUBS:  Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ - sun or shade and flowers four times a year. Daphne bholua is large and spindly but its fragrance will stop you in your tracks from metres away. Others include Philadelphus, lilac, Choisya and Edgworthia….and of course Gardenia. ‘Crown Jewels’ is a new cultivar that grows like a groundcover.

ROSES:  the David Austens combine old fashioned flower power with great fragrance. ‘Abraham Darby’ and ‘Jude the Obscure’ are favourites.

TREES – Citrus are underrated for fragrance, and for warmer areas try the Australian frangipani tree (Hymenosporum flavum) with pretty yellow and white flowers. Backhousia citradora has lemony leaves when crushed.

ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS – too many to name, just have a sniff around the garden centre!

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