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God's Warrior

Landscaping Plants

Landscaping Plants

Fragrance in the Garden

Not all crabapple varieties are fragrant. If it's beauty and delicious scent you want, select one of the disease-resistant varieties that are known for their scent.

Gardens are highly personal creations, and as important as color, height, texture, rhythm, surprise and all the thousand other design attributes, figuring fragrance into the mix is surely just as important for some of us. Sublime scents can trigger sweet memories, add romance and ambiance to a space. At the very least, fragrance is a pleasant extra dimension that can continue long after the sun goes down and the garden disappears into the dark.

Flowers that have fragrance have it for a reason--mostly to attract pollinators. Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana) sends out its heavy perfume in the evening when the moths it needs for pollination are out and about; by day, there's virtually no smell. Other night-fragrant plants include fragrant columbine (Aquilegia fragrans), night-scented stock, moonflower vine, honeysuckle, August lily (Hosta plantaginea), evening primrose, night gladiolus, sweetautumn clematis and climbing hydrangea.

Some flowers have to be sniffed up close; others can perfume an entire backyard. An individual blossom may carry only a trace, but if a lot of flowers are packed into a small area, the fragrance is quite noticeable even at a distance. Scents--both the intensity and the type--can vary with heat and humidity and time of day. And finally, what smells good to one person may be unpleasant to another.

Some points to consider:

Sniff before you buy, if possible. There can be a tremendous variation in fragrance in a given species.
Place fragrant plants in an area that can trap the scent--out of the wind, against a wall, fence, house or bank of evergreens.
Site those plants whose foliage has to be rubbed to release fragrance near walkways.
Some scents complement each other; others may interfere. As you develop your fragrance garden, be prepared to have to move a few plants around to perfect the combinations.

Depending on where you live, there are lots of wonderful choices for fragrance gardens. Here are a few good places to start:

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia). In early to midsummer candles of sweet fragrance project from this woody deciduous shrub. The flowers come in white and pink. The shrub has a second season of interest: in fall, the leaves turn a nice yellow to yellow-orange. Zones 4 to 9.

Sweet mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius). This old-fashioned deciduous shrub has one season; in mid to late spring, its white flowers perfume the air, then it recedes into the background. Select cultivars are a big improvement over the species.

'Minnesota Snowflake' has very fragrant double flowers; 6 to 8 feet tall. 'Miniature Snowflake' is a good choice for a small space: it has the same fragrant double flowers, but grows to only 3 to 4 feet tall. Zones 4 to 8.

Night-blooming jessamine (Cestrum nocturnum). The greenish-white tubular flowers aren't much to look at, but they are heavenly to smell at night. The plant reblooms in cycles throughout the summer. Cestrum nocturnum is a shrubby perennial in Zones 9 and south; farther north, treat as an annual.
God's Warrior

Fragrant annuals, perennials and bulbs

August plantain lily
some daffodils
evening primrose
evening stock
flowering tobacco
four o'clock
some lilies
some nasturtiums
night gladiolus
night jessamines
some pinks
sweet alyssum
sweet woodruff
God's Warrior

Fragrant shrubs, trees and vines

some butterfly bushes
Chinese witchhazel
climbing hydrangea
some crabapples
gleatherfeaf mahonia
many roses
star jasmine
sweetautumn clematis
sweet mockorange
tea olive
winter daphne
winter honeysuckle
some wisterias
God's Warrior


You can propagate your own shrub by clipping a neighbor’s (with permission)and rooting the cutting.

When it comes to gardening, any tenderfoot can plant flowers but full-scale, whole-ranch landscaping with trees, hedges and sod is no place for city slickers who don’t know what they're doing. To save money where you can, do the digging, planting and fertilizing yourself. You will save lots. And don’t be in a hurry. Spread the work out over lots of years and spread the cost out as well. Buy gravel and topsoil in bulk. Buy off-season -- like late summer and fall. Prowl for bargains at garden centers, discount stores and yard sales. You can even propagate your own by clipping a neighbor’s shrub and rooting the cutting.
God's Warrior

Piling mulch in cone-shaped mounds against the trunk of a tree encourages diseases, voles, insects and rot-- and worse, it causes the tree to form secondary roots that can wind up encircling the trunk. Keep mulch at least six inches away from the trunk and no deeper than four inches.

When I put mulch around my trees, I pile it up, but in a volcano shape so that the base of the tree is exposed. I hope that is the right way to do it. Any thoughts?

God's Warrior

The roots come up to the top of the ground to feed and that can cause problems. They actually need to be going deeper into the ground. If you stick to what I wrote I don't think you will have any problems.

That's what I needed, thanks.
God's Warrior


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