How to Make The Most of Your Garden Scents

Enhancing your outdoors with fragrance takes practice. Though blooming flowers and herbs can release scents that mirror a calming or festive atmosphere, plant aromas can also clash with one another and cause strong, unpleasant smells that drive you indoors. 

To help your garden smell its best, here are some tips on the most fragrant plants and where to place them for pleasant scent combinations. 


What are the best scent combos?

Some flowers' scents naturally complement each other by making the smell more powerful or by releasing fragrance at different times of day. For example, yellow English rose or 'Windrush' planted with Himalayan balsam provides a constant change of scent as the flowers release differing fragrances. Lavender and jasmine provide calming aromas that are strengthened when planted next to each other. If you're unsure of what combination you want, pot each plant individually to figure out which scents you prefer, as some scents don't appeal to everyone ' this may take several rounds of trial and error before making things permanent. 

Flowers that are naturally strong scented, like hyacinth and daffodils, should not be planted next to each other, because their scents will overpower each other. Think about planting these flowers separately or in containers, by windows and entryways, so you get a burst of individual scents. If you live in a wide-open, windy area, it's best to plant each type of flower in large clumps, so that the scents will disperse as the wind blows. 



Where should you plant?

Place your fragrant flowers where you will be able to enjoy them most frequently ' walkways, patios and outside seating areas. Keep in mind many fragrant plants also release scent when they are touched, so it's best to place plants like rosemary and Mexican bush marigolds near enough to walkways to brush against you when you walk past. You can also place fragrant ground covers, such as thyme and Blue Star Creeper, between stepping stones or in other foot-traffic areas; these plants' leaves will be even more fragrant when crushed underfoot. 


What about evening aromas?

Flowers' fragrance subtly changes throughout the day and with variations in weather and growing conditions. Some plants will give a stronger scent as temperatures cool in the evening. Jasmine, evening primrose, lilies and petunias are evening flowers that give off a stronger scent in the evening. Take advantage of their scents and plant them by outdoor eating and entertaining areas to give a festive aroma when you have guests.