Plants for a Scented Garden

Though flowers gardens are usually grown for the beauty they add to the landscape, gardens can involve other senses beyond sight. Scent gardens please the sense of smell with sweet or spicy aromas. Some plants release their scents when brushed against or walked on, while others are most fragrant in the evening hours. A scent garden can perfume the air around your home and create a pleasant air for strolling or relaxing.


The perfume of scented geraniums comes from the leaves of the plant, not the blossoms. You can find scented geraniums that smell like mint, lemon, roses or even chocolate. Peonies and lily of the valley have a sweet fragrance, while dianthus and carnations have a peppery scent.


Herbs release their fragrance when brushed against or crushed, so they're a good choice for growing alongside paths and underfoot. Plant low-growing herbs such as chamomile and thyme between stepping stones in pathways, and rosemary, lavender or mint to line the paths. Basil, oregano, lemon balm and sage are other fragrant herbs.


Fragrant vines such as jasmine or honeysuckle provide aroma and beauty when trained to grow along a fence or up a brick or stone wall. You can also plant vines on either side of gate or garden entrance and train them to grow up an arched trellis. Passion flower, sweet pea and wisteria are other vines with lovely blossoms and strong scents.


Lilacs perfume the air each spring with a sweet, grape-like aroma. The blossoms of mock orange attract butterflies with their scent. Or plant the aptly named butterfly bush to draw even more varieties of butterfly attracted by the plant's bright blossoms and sweet fragrance. Roses, especially old-fashioned varieties or those bred especially for scent, add a rich perfume to the garden.

Keywords: flower gardens, scented garden, scent gardens

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.