Fragrant Plants for Small Spaces A Garden of Earthly Delights

Fragrant Plants for Small Spaces
  • Posted June 13, 2014

The invisible power of scent has a profound effect on the psyche and is one way to transform a mundane garden space into an otherworldly kingdom. In a container garden, incorporating fragrant plants is also a way to get the most joy out of a small space. By carefully selecting species based on their olfactory qualities and season of bloom, a delightful potpourri is possible year round.

Winter Daphne In winter, Daphne is the queen of container gardens. Keep it happy with a lightweight potting mix, regular water and afternoon shade and it will erupt with pinkish white blossoms in January and February which carry a smell rivaling the finest perfumes.
Jasmine Each spring, jasmine makes the stars shine a little brighter, as its fragrance is strongest at night and the pure white blossoms seem to glow in the moonlight. This fast-growing vine is easy to grow in a pot—trellis it against an outdoor wall or hang it up high and let the tendrils dangle in the breeze.
Shrub Rose Summer is all about roses in a fragrance garden. Try mixing a few varieties, for a season long serenade of heavenly smells. Not all roses are highly fragrant, but those that are can make anyone swoon. 'Damask,' 'Gertrude Jekyll,' 'Mr. Lincoln' and 'Madame Alfred Carriere' are a few of the classics known for their delicious scent.
Alyssum Fall is a time to look to cool weather annuals to end the year on a sweet-scented note. Alyssum, mignonette, sweet peas and sweet Annie are a few fragrant varieties that flourish at this time of year. Their varied growth habits allow them to fit together neatly in a single pot for a seasonal display.
Savory Scents and Flavors
Herbs The smell of thyme, oregano and sage fit together in the garden as well as they do in the kitchen. Their fragrance compliments the smell of sweet-scented flowers and their short stature allows them to cohabitate with taller shrubs and vines in the same container. Because the smell of herbs comes primarily from the leaves, not the flowers, it is present in the garden year round.
Scented Geranium Scented geraniums are a kingdom of their own in the world of fragrant plants. Choose from one of the apple, rose, lemon, chocolate, or mint-scented varieties offered by specialty growers. There's also a geranium known as the mosquito plant, which contains a naturally-occurring source of citronella and helps to keep the garden pest-free.

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Brian Barth
About the Author

After 15 years as a professional landscape designer and horticulturalist, Brian Barth embarked on a second career to share his passion—and the knowledge he's accrued—through writing. His love of plants is all-encompassing, but he has a particular soft spot for culinary crops.

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Fragrant Plants for Small Spaces

Fruit Scented Selections

  • Lemon Thyme
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