Greetings from Seasons Newsletter!! It’s hard to believe a new year is just around the corner and with it, another exciting gardening season.

Through the winter months we take the opportunity to learn more about plants and gardening techniques as we dream, visualize and plan our next garden. This winter, I’m looking forward to planning a fragrant garden on my west-facing deck. With two main rooms of my home opening on to this deck, I envision wafts of fragrance coming into my living room with the summer breezes. At the other end of the deck, I hope to create a fragrant herb and flower container garden to surround my morning coffee chair. Read along as I share what I have learned so far…

In this issue…

A Fragrant Container GardenThe fragrance of the spring or summer garden container garden is a true pleasure. You will find fragrant flowers and plants in all categories ~ annuals, perennials, bulbs, roses, vines, shrubs and trees.

Bougainvilla Fragrance varies from the strongly-scented plants that release their fragrance into their surroundings with air movement, to other plants such as roses, that are best enjoyed with a close sniff and others, such as many herbs that release their fragrance when brushed with the hand or by gently rubbing their leaves. Enjoying the fragrance of your flowers and plants is an active pleasure.

If you are new to growing fragrant flowers and plants, I would recommend you start with a herb garden in containers (or in your garden too!). Herbs generally do very well in planters (I would recommend terracotta planters), quite forgiving if you forget to water them and most have wonderful fragrance to enjoy throughout the growing season. Herbs in pots are also wonderful to move around your patio, deck or balcony to compliment your other containers as they come into bloom. Once you have mastered herbs, you’ll be hooked on adding fragrance to your garden.

You can create your own ‘aromatherapy’ garden with a little experimentation with fragrant herbs and plants—a real treat for the senses on a home patio, deck or windowbox.

RoseExplore combinations of fragrant plants to build up a stronger presence of scent. I have found that lavender is a wonderful fragrant companion to many flowering plants that seems to compliment many other scents without competing or overpowering. Remember to plan a sequence of blooming times of your plants to ensure a continual display and presence of fragrance.

Fragrance in the Night

A very special fragrant garden focuses on flowers and plants that release their scent in the evening hours. If you enjoy the garden by moonlight, be sure to include evening primrose, flowering tobacco, moonflower vine, angel’s trumpet (Datura), night-scented stock, four-o’clocks and August lily (Hosta plantaginea). All are more fragrant in the evening than during daylight. Also, watering the garden just before sunset intensifies the fragrance of many night-scented blooms.

Here’s a brief list of fragrant flowers and plants to get you started. Click here for more complete listings of fragrant flowers and plants along with additional plant information.


Many spring-flowering or summer-flowering bulbs make a marvelous contribution to a fragrant garden.

  • HyacinthHyacinth hybrids are among the most fragrant flowers in the garden in April and May.
  • Paper-white narcissi is favorite and well-siuted to growing in planters
  • Jonquils offer a lovely fragrance with creamy-white to soft yellow blooms. If you like miniature daffodils, mix them with your jonquils.
  • Scented, summer-flowering lilies such as Lilium auratum (Gold-banded Lily), Lilium longiflorum (Easter Lily), Lilium regale (Royal lily), Lilium candidum (Madonna Lily), and Lilium speciosum add a wonderful fragrance to the garden.
  • Acidanthera closely resemble gladioli.
  • Fragrant amaryllis (Clidanthus fragrans) Sweet-scented yellow crocus-like flowers in mid-summer.


  • Evening stock (M. longipetala) Lily-like perfume; excellent for window boxes and pots.
  • Flowering tobaccos (Nicotiana alata, N. sylvestris, N. suaveolens) Fragrant mostly at night.
  • AlyssumFour-o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa and M. longiflora) White flowers with orange-blossom scent.
  • Night phlox (Zaluzianskya ovata ) Strongly fragrant at night.
  • Stock (Matthiola incana) Spicy clove-scented flower spikes.
  • Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) Honey-scented white flowers.
  • Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) Vanilla/cherry pie scent.


    • Daylilies (Hemerocallis) Many highly fragrant daylilies are widely available.
    • PhloxGarden phlox (Phlox paniculata) especially white ‘David’, ‘Blue Paradise’, pink ‘Eden’s Crush’, and ‘Old Cellarhole’; summer blooms.
  • Giant lily (Cardiocrinum giganteum) Fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers in summer.
  • Ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium var. chrysoleum ‘Yellow Spot’)
  • Iris (Iris) Highly fragrant bearded irises.
  • Pinks (Dianthus superbus, D.gratianopolitanus, D.plumarius) In pots with good drainage, full sun; spring to summer bloom.
  • A large variety of scented geraniums are available with fragrances including apple, lemon, lime rose and ginger. Some also have the added benefit of deterring mosquitos.


Most herbs have a distinctive fragrance that is released either with brushing the plant with your hand or rubbing the plant leaves with your fingers. Create a herb container garden near an open door or in a windowbox to enjoy fragrance in your home.

My favorite herbs that are also good companions to flowers in a garden planters:

  • Lavender (English Lavender)
  • Basil, Thai ‘Siam Queen’ (Ocimum basilicum ‘Siam Queen’)
  • Oregano, Italian (Origanum species)
  • Sage, Cleveland’s / Blue Sage (Salvia clevelandii) Very fragrant with a lovely blue flower.
  • Rosemary, ‘Tuscan Blue’ (R. officinalis var. ridigus ‘Tuscan Blue’)

And don’t forget the family cat when it comes to adding fragrance to your container garden. I have two low terracotta pots for my cats to enjoy an annual diet of cat mint and catnip. Keeps them happy and out of my other planters.


  • Many shrubs will do well in large, well-drained planters as they add both texture, color and fragrance to your deck, balcony or garden landscape.
  • Many deciduous azaleas have highly fragrant flowers in pastel pinks, yellows Gardeniaand white.
  • Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ and ‘Somerset’ – Legendary powerful fragrance from small white or purplish flowers in late spring. Many other daphne species are also highly fragrant.
  • Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) – Long-blooming evergreen shrub producing white flowers in summer with extraordinary creamy fragrance.


  • Clematis armandii; C. flammula; C. montana – clematis are vigorous growers and will require a good-sized, well-drained pot for best results in the long-term.
  • Several species of Jasmine are legendary for their perfumes. May be an ‘acquired’ appreciation for some stronger-scented jasmine.
  • BouganvillaMoonflower is “one of the richest sources of perfume known-but only when the flowers open at night.
  • Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) Exquisite fragrance.

View more fragrant flowers and plants.

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Reflections on Red ~ The Color of Life

Passion, anger, love, a flush of shyness, a raging bull or a beating heart ~ no other color boasts such strong and vivid associations. A magnificent color but how do we bring red into the garden without causing a riot?

In this holiday season, what better color to explore than the color that represents life and renewal. It is a color more challenging than most ~ and equally rewarding. I have found that red is easier grow in my container garden than in my garden landscape, I think I am able to control the vibrant energy that red flowers bring to a display in a smaller area. As a wonderful partner to so many colors, red flowers seem to bring out the beauty in everything around them including flowers, foliage, rockery and planters too. Christopher Lloyd, the British garden writer, suggests that the best location for red flowers is where they will catch the late-afternoon to evening sunlight and you will see them turn black as the sunlight fades.

Reds have two very distinct tones. A red-orange group and a blue-red group that don’t do well when mixed together, but are wonderful when complimenting other colors of flowers. Color combinations tend to be a very personal preference. One of my favorite combinations is a trio of red, orange and pink ~ exuberant orange daisies, bold red poppies and sweet pink geraniums. Purple or blue and red is a classic combination, as are yellow and red. Throw in a third color or use colorful foliage to add depth and richness to plantings using red.

A planter filled with nothing but brilliant Red poppies is a sight to behold, so don’t be afraid to create a focal point with a single plant in a complimentary planter.

Lily Honeysuckle –
Lonicera sempervirens
Canna Clematis –
‘Ernest Markham’
Silene reglia Crimson clover -Trifolium incarnatum Trumpet vine –
Campsis radicans
Clematis –
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Gardeners Gift Gallery

Okay, there’s no avoiding it, Christmas is right around the corner! Luckily gardeners are easy to find great gifts for ~ so here’s a bonus for all the great folks who have joined our newsletter list over the past year.

Holiday Wishes to all our readers from All About Planters ~