Heady summer scents

Summer is the season of scent. From fragrant roses to perfumed lilies, adding flowers with scent will make lingering in your garden an even greater pleasure.

To get the most from their perfume, choose where to plant carefully. Next to a seating area is ideal and think about using pots, if there’s no border nearby.

Putting flowers in a sheltered spot, such as a courtyard, will trap the fragrance, making it more intense.

Make sure your route through the garden is scented by planting alongside paths. Add arches for climbers that will surround you with their perfume.

And don’t forget tables. A pot of sweetly scented flowers can add the finishing touch to a meal outside.

There are many summer performers that will give you that extra fragrant element. Here are some of our favourites.


A summer garden isn’t complete without at least one rose and many of them have a scent that’s as beautiful as their flowers. Choose a repeat flowering rose for the longest perfume hit and try to see one in flower before buying so that you can check the scent first.


From elegant white to fun-packed vibrant pink, there’s a lily to suit every style of garden. They can be grown in borders or packed into pots for the patio.


Little beats the sweet scent of a honeysuckle and it’s perfect for a cottage-style garden, trained over a fence or pergola. There are deciduous and evergreen honeysuckles with yellow and red, or cream flowers. Many have berries in the autumn but not all are scented so do check first.


The star-shaped flowers of Jasmine officinale may be tiny but they throw out a vast amount of fragrance. A climbing plant, it will cover a large area and prefers a south or west-facing site.


It’s not surprising that philadelphus is commonly known as ‘mock orange’ as its heady scent has a definite citrus tone.

Sweet peas

Delicate tissue-thin flowers in shades of pink, mauve and white with an exquisite perfume make sweet peas a summer favourite. Just one small vaseful will scent a room.

Night scented stock

Plant a few night-scented stocks to add a fragrant edge to balmy evenings outside. Make sure you place them near windows or by seats to fully appreciate their scent.

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