Many garden annuals have highly fragrant flowers, among them the early-blooming candytuft and violas, also known as Johnny-jump-ups. Nicotiana is highly scented, as is sweet alyssum and the herb sweet basil. Sweet-smelling blooms on hyacinth bean plants later produce deep burgundy seed pods. Moonflower vines and Royal Family sweet peas make beautifully scented additions to trellises, and petunias tucked into pots and planters provide evening fragrance. Although highly fragrant, datura, also known as angel trumpet, is highly poisonous.Continue Reading
Many shrubs have colorful, wonderfully fragrant blooms, among them the lovely French lilac variety Sensation, with its white-edged purple flowers, and the Anne Russell viburnum, with its fragrant white snowball blooms in mid-spring. The powerfully scented mock orange features dazzling white double flowers in early summer, as does the classic Gertrude Jekyll shrub rose, which has a rose fragrance. Pineapple broom, an unusual shrub with greenish-gray leaves, flowers in late spring with bright yellow blooms that impart a delicious pineapple scent.
Summer-flowering lily varieties bring delightful scents to the garden, including the lily varieties Casa Blanca and Stargazer, as well as the Easter, regal, gold-banded and Madonna lilies. Highly scented old-fashioned garden favorites include phlox, bearing clusters of blooms with heady fragrance on warm summer days, and peonies, with their large sweet-smelling blooms borne on low-maintenance plants. Lily-of-the-valley is a hard-working shady ground cover that provides a fragrant springtime display of white or pink bell-shaped flowers, and dianthus blooms emit a spicy aroma from pink, white or red flowers nodding above clumps of grassy leaves. Both the flowers and foliage of the herb French lavender are delightfully fragrant, and the herb heliotrope imparts a vanilla scent from its clusters of blue, purple and white flowers.Learn more about Outdoor Plants & Flowers