Delight in the sweetest springtime garden scents. Our pick of the most fragrant plants to give your garden a mood-boosting lift:
1. Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine)
As the name suggests, Trachelospermum jasminoides or Star Jasmine in many ways mimics jasmine proper, both having exotic-looking creamy-white flowers and a captivating heavenly perfume, however, Trachelospermum jasminoides is a much more easygoing garden friend. Where as fast-growing jasmine can run away into an unruly mess, if not kept in check, Star Jasmine is slow-growing and a little more compact, but even so, in time, it will get up to 5-6ft, making this evergreen climber an excellent choice for covering a trellis or training against a wall.
Its profusion of small flowers open up like pinwheels in late-spring allowing their heady aroma to billow through the garden, but you’re in for another treat as winter rolls around and its dark-green, glossy leaves turn a rich auburn red.
For maximum flower-power plant in full sun.
2. Sarcococca hookeriana var. Humilis (Sweet Box)
A much overlooked and underused little evergreen shrub whose wispy threadlike flowers emit an unexpectedly gloriously vanilla-honey scent in early-spring. Extremely easy to grow, it stays looking neat with minimal care and is a very handy plant for shade, at home under trees or on the edge of beds.
The blooms give way to plump, shiny black berries in the summer that frequently persist through the winter, often giving you flowers and berries all at the same time. Sweet Box likes moist, though well-drained, humus-rich soil and can grow up to a metre tall in favourable conditions, though it will tolerate some neglect.
3. Daphne odora Aureomarginata (Gold-Edged Daphne)
Perhaps the ultimate fragrant herald that spring has sprung! Clusters of tiny, raspberry-pink buds open to reveal four-petalled flowers of palest pink, just as soon as the biting cold of winter has passed and the first rays of spring sunshine warm its lance-shaped evergreen leaves.
One of the most highly scented of all garden plants, this daphne is a compact shrub that also provides a touch of colour throughout the year via its gold trimmed leaves. The gold fades to milky white over time.
Place it in a sunny spot by a path or next to seating, anywhere you’re likely to linger for a time, and breath in its enchanting aroma.
4. Edgeworthia chrysantha (Paperbush)
Another early-spring bouquet to savour comes from a shrub with similar looking flowers to daphne, though that’s where the similarity ends. Edgeworthia chrysantha is a medium sized deciduous shrub which, when it loses its leaves, reveals cinnamon-coloured, papery bark. Indeed, in Japan it has been used to make a type of highly durable paper.
The clusters of tiny lemon-yellow flowers are more elongated at the throat than a daphne and are covered in down that shimmers like frost when the sun catches them.
Happy in full sun or slightly dappled light, but unlikely to enjoy temperatures lower than -5c.
Garden in need of pre-spring perking up? We can help enhance your environment, enabling you to get the most out of your outside space. We’d love to hear from you.