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Fragrance in the garden

                This time of year is ideal for celebrating the delightful scents of the garden. With an array of fragrant blooms emerging, there’s always something delightful to savor in your garden during this season.

            Let’s go over some of our favorite’s that come to mind when we think of fragrant plants.

Magnolia figo

Common Name: Banana Shrub

             This lovely evergreen shrub in the Magnolia family grows up to 15' tall and is upright oval to rounded. This plant blooms in mid to late spring and has fragrant flowers that smell like ripe cantaloupe or banana. Some cultivars have up to 4" flowers. This plant must be planted in a protected location. It tolerates full sun (turns yellow-green in winter), and prefers well-drained, fertile, acidic, sandy loam in organic matter and sitting in partial shade. It grows in USDA zones 7-10, but does best in zones 8-10. This plant can be severely pruned and is slightly salt tolerant. This plant has no significant pest or disease problems.

Philadelphus coronarius

Common Name: Mock Orange

            The Mock Orange is a dense, rounded, suckering, deciduous shrub with stiff, straight, ascending branches. In late spring to early summer, its pleasantly arching branches bear abundant clusters of very fragrant, cup-shaped, 4-petaled, white flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm). The blossoms contrast nicely against the foliage of oval, remotely serrated, dark green leaves. The branches exfoliate in strips to reveal the pale brown bark. While this strong-growing old favorite is magnificent in bloom, it tends to fade into the background the rest of the year. Still, the legendary mock orange fragrance and the thousands of blossoms at one time are good enough reasons to plant one. Consider planting near a patio, so the fragrance can be enjoyed.

Rosa ‘Mister Lincoln’

        In a world of Roses, the Mister Lincoln stands out with its powerful fragrance. One of the most well-known of the Hybrid Tea roses, he features long-pointed buds which open into large, well-formed, long stemmed, very full, 4" blooms of the deepest red. The velvety texture of the bloom is almost unbelievable. Mister Lincoln has an outstandingly strong damask fragrance that seduces the senses. He is a vigorous, tall, upright, continual blooming bush with dark green foliage. It’s easy to see why he is a coveted cut flower and an ideal, long stemmed, red rose. Plus, Mister Lincoln is grown on his own-roots ensuring he will last for generations to come!

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Common Name: Star Jasmine

            A beautiful vine prized for its very fragrant, star-shaped, white flowers, and blanket of thick, dark green foliage. Plant near a patio, terrace or entry where the fragrance can be enjoyed. In frost-free areas, train on posts, walls or trellises, or allow to trail along as a groundcover. A warm region evergreen a superb summer container plant for colder regions.

Daphne odora

Variegated Winter Daphne

        Beautiful rosy-pink flower buds that open to white, sweetly fragrant flowers in winter and early spring. Attractive yellow-margined, variegated foliage. A great foundation plant for dappled shade gardens. Locate against a wall or near a patio or deck where its fragrance can be appreciated.

Gardenia jasminoides

Frost Proof

            These evergreen shrubs are celebrated for their lush, glossy foliage and intensely fragrant, waxy white flowers, making them a beloved choice for gardens, landscapes, and potted indoor plants. Their blooming season extends from late spring through early summer, with some varieties offering sporadic blooms throughout the summer. Gardenias play versatile roles in the landscape, serving as specimen plants, hedges, or enhancing container gardens. They’re also cherished for their fragrance in homes within cooler climates. However, due to their toxicity to pets, caution is advised when displaying gardenias in homes with cats or dogs since ingestion may cause gastrointestinal distress. Nonetheless, gardenias are considered safe for households with children.


Holboellia angustifolia

Sausage Vine

A fine and distinct form of this twining evergreen climber from the Himalaya with up to seven very narrow leaflets up to 15cm long and 2cm wide. Fragrant bronzy-pink flowers with recurved sepals in March; males greenish-yellow in the throat. For a wall, fence or tree, where the sausage shaped, fleshy, purplish, edible fruit can form if pollinated by another clone.



            Lavender is a well-known and fragrant perennial plant that will come back every year with gray-green foliage, upright flower spikes, and a compact shrub form. Planting lavender is best in the spring after the risk of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. It will grow at a moderate pace, often adding a few inches to its size each year.

Wisteria sinensis

Chinese Wisteria

            The Chinese Wisteria is a delightful woody vine valued for its drooping clusters of fragrant, violet-blue, pea-like flowers that bloom in spring. The flowers are followed by green compound foliage on the twining stems. Perfect for covering patios, arbors, or fences. Works well trained into a small tree as the thick, woody, trunk-like stems develop.

Stringa vulgaris

Common Purple Lilac

            Lilacs have an abundance of clusters of sweetly fragrant, purple flowers in mid-spring on a vigorous, upright, multi-stemmed shrub with heart-shaped, green foliage. Ideal as a flowering hedge or screen. Plant near a window or pathway where the fragrant blooms can be enjoyed.

With so many fragrant plants available, the list could extend endlessly. Exploring the world of plants is an adventure in itself. Next time you are out running errands, swing by Kurt's Garden and take home your favorite fragrant plant.


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