Fragrant plants | Living the Country Life
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Fragrant plants

One of the best parts of spring and summer is the fragrant aroma of blooming plants. Try these ideas and enjoy the sweet smell of success.
  • The Perfumed Garden

    The most flamboyant personalities in the world of lilies are to be found among the Oriental hybrids, with their huge flowers, intense fragrance, and rich colors. If your garden seems dull in late summer, jazz it up with this enticing mixture of late bloomers. Enormous flowers in vibrant shades of pink, crimson, pure white, pink-and-white, and gold-and-white appear on straight stems in July and August. The show is breathtaking, the perfume intoxicating -- especially as the sun dips below the horizon.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Convallaria Majalis

    The genus contains a single species, C. majalis, which is among the most useful ground covers for shade. These charming and richly fragrant plants have many bell-shaped white flowers in late spring and are beloved by everyone. In the garden, they spread diligently and will prosper in low light. They are often found near old foundations, where they proved more durable than the houses. Culture is the same as that used for all woodland plants--a woodsy soil (one rich in humus) and a location in shade or well-filtered sunlight. Lily-of-the-Valley is also excellent for forcing.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Echinacea 'Fragrant Angel'

    A sweet perfume has been about the only desirable attribute missing from Coneflowers, and here it is! 'Fragrant Angel' boasts large fragrant white flowers. The double rows of petals are held horizontally, making the show even better. The tall, vigorous plants are strongly branched and flower profusely all summer long. 'Fragrant Angel' makes a great cut flower, and is equally at home in formal borders or prairie plantings. A butterfly magnet, just like its cousins.<br>Echinacea, a North American genus in the Daisy family, has big, bright flowers that appear in late June and keep coming into September. Plants thrive in average soils or hot, dry conditions, shrug off cold, and are equally at home in full sun or partial shade. Blooms last well as cut or dried flowers, and the large cone at the heart of the flower head turns black as the seeds mature, adding further interest and providing nourishment for goldfinches. Coneflower, E. purpurea, is a rugged species that is native from Iowa and Ohio south to Louisiana and Georgia, and is a great garden plant everywhere in between.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Fragrant Iris Collection

    Fragrance is an overlooked quality of Bearded Iris, which is hard to believe because the perfumes these flowers produce are sweet and pervasive. This collection contains six whose rich scent is matched by the magnificent form and color of their flowers.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Lilium 'Casa Blanca'

    Even in a group noted for large flowers, vigorous growth, and sweet perfume, 'Casa Blanca' is a standout. The huge flowers are pure, gleaming white, delicately flocked in a way that adds richness and texture. When this lily blooms in our Moon Garden, our staff find excuses to wander nearby, while visitors stand transfixed, lost in the perfume and admiring the hawkmoths that hover over the blooms day and evening. Adjectives like "astonishing" and "ravishing" may seem like catalogue hyperbole, until you actually see one of these lilies in bloom. Then words fail. 'Casa Blanca' is widely regarded by horticultural professionals as the best white Oriental lily ever.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Peony 'Festiva Maxima'

    Large, pure white, fragrant blooms with occasional flecks of crimson at the base of the center petals have made this variety a great peony for generations and our largest seller for many years. It's also the best double for southern gardens.<br>Peonies produce their extravagant display in early June every year, regardless of weather, because they are among the most durable and longest-lived plants. They have no natural enemies, no exacting cultural requirements beyond full sun and neutral to slightly sweet soil, and they shrug off cold. After bloom is complete, you are left with a handsome mound of glossy, deep green foliage that will happily anchor the next sequence of bloom in the neighborhood. Finally, peonies make superior cut flowers, lasting more than a week if cut in full bud.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Heliotropium 'Fragrant Delight'

    This traditional favorite annual bears loose, flat heads of intensely fragrant, deep lavender blooms. The plants prefer full sun and even moisture. And they will winter easily indoors. They open royal purple and slowly fade to lavender. Unlike other varieties bred for deeper color, 'Fragrant Delight' preserves the vanilla perfume that, to our mind, makes a Heliotrope a Heliotrope.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Clematis Paniculata

    Sweet Autumn Clematis. This very hardy climber from the Orient is a rampant grower that will reach 30 feet. A mature plant is a gorgeous sight when covered with pure white, fragrant flowers in late summer and early fall. Silvery, filagreed seed heads follow as an encore. Provide a sturdy support, such as fence.<br>For beautiful colors, extravagance of blooms, and graceful habit, nothing compares with clematis, the queen of the flowering vines. Whether used on posts or fences, they will enrich the landscape. Give them good soil, reasonable moisture, and shade at their roots.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Daphne 'Carol Mackie'

    There are several dozen species in this genus, many of which are not hardy for us. The best of them for northern gardeners is a highly ornamental selection of D. X burkwoodii called 'Carol Mackie'. This variety provides the usual rounded, three-foot form; subtle grayish green leaves; and marvelously fragrant clusters of pale pink flowers in May and occasionally thereafter. But Ms. Mackie adds striking golden margins on every leaf, giving the plants a dressy appearance that makes this the showgirl of Daphnes, and an interesting presence throughout the summer. Of course, it's impossible not to pinch small nosegays for the house, and no harm is done.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Philadelphus 'Snow White Fantasy'

    The pure-white double flowers of this lovely mock orange are up to two inches wide and have a sweet, citrus fragrance. 'Snow White Fantasy' is useful as a specimen or backdrop for roses.<br>The 65 species and countless hybrids of Philadelphus are undemanding, free flowering, and possessed of a sweet fragrance that perfumes entire sections of our gardens in early summer. Most mock oranges are erect growers, arching more or less with age. They like full sun, though they'll tolerate light shade, and well-drained soil.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Scent of Spring Daffodil Mixture

    Fragrant daffodils are a special favorite of ours, so we put together a mixture of the most fragrant hardy varieties. The perfume is a light, fresh lemony scent that is quite irresistible -- a natural for bouquets.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
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