To have fragrance in a garden is a certainty. Your Lavender, Roses and Nepeta are all worthy candidates for bringing that aroma to your patio in the warmer months. In addition there are shrubs that provide a sweet smelling scent coupled with annuals like sweet peas to relax your senses.
Philadelphus (Mock Orange) A decidious shrub offering a scent of citrus. It attracts beneficial insects and flowers in spring. A favourite amongst growers is P. ‘Belle Etoile’. The more common variety P. ‘coronarious’ is relatively low maintenance and can cope with neglect. Fully hardy too. Periodically, it would benefit from being cut back when the new buds appear to minimise legginess and improve blooms. Cut back top growth to 4 or 5 leaf nodes.
Choisya (Mexican Orange Blossom) An evergreen with attractive leaves. It does tolerate most conditions, although it is fine in shade it would prefer a full sun aspect. These are very easy to look after. The plant is hardy and will withstand being left. C. dewitteana ‘ Aztec Pearl’ is a variety that will flower in early summer but by dead heading a second show is possible. A more sheltered position is better than exposed as they can be prone to damage in high winds.
Choisya ternata sundance A half hardy alternative. It is usually preferred in a neutral soil or slightly acidic/alkaline but certainly not too much. It will not do well in extreme conditions. It is generally low maintenance other than removing unwanted growth.
Daphne Odora A semi evergreen shrub. It provides interest all year round. It flowers in succession between spring and summer. It is highly scented and hosts attractive foliage. D. transatlantica ‘eternal fragrance’ a compact habit suitable for smaller areas.
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ An evergreen which prefers to be in full sun although it can tolerate shade. It is low maintenance and provides berries for wildlife until spring and the flowers open. It is worth bearing in mind this is male and only when coupled with the opposite sex will S. japonica ‘nymans’ produce berries. A common problem that is known to these species is the yellowing of the leaf. It is an indication that the soil is too alkaline.
In the winter months Chimonathus praecox ‘wintersweet’ provides a highly scented decidious shrub. This needs to be in full sun in a sheltered position but relatively versatile in the conditions it grows in.
Sarcococca (Christmas Box) A winter flowering shrub. A hardy specimen but in an immature state provide a little more protection. Ideally in a shaded position or a little sheltered in the ground.