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Create a Scented Flower Garden with these Six Plants

There are many plants to choose from when creating a garden that delights the nose as well as the eyes. Here are six favorites you can plant together to make a "scent-sational" garden.


This plant creates a profusion of blossoms all summer long. Nemesia may fade during extremely hot weather, so let it have a little shade during July and August if you can. Grows on tall, strong stems with small leaves, making the plant look compact and neat. Flower colors include yellow, white, orange, pink, and blue. Likes rich soil and plenty of water. Tolerates partial shade. Pinch the tips of starter plants to promote branching. When flowers start to fade, shake the plants gently to deadhead.

Height: 12-24 inches. Spacing: Plant in groups of three or five, spacing plants 8 inches apart and groups 24 or more inches apart. Excellent in containers and hanging baskets.


This neat plant has small, sage-colored leaves and a profusion of tiny flowers. Grows upright and stays small; ideal ground cover. Fertilize every other week for best growth. Grows best in almost boggy conditions, so don't let the soil dry out. Flowers in shades of pink and red, purple, and white. Likes partial shade, but will tolerate full morning sun in a location that doesn't get too hot. If planted in a container, try bringing it in next fall and keeping it over the winter. Pinch when you transplant to promote bushiness.

Height: up to 12 inches. Spacing: Plant in containers or in groups of three or five in the garden, spaced 6 inches apart. Space groups 24 inches apart.

Trailing Snapdragons

These plants have fine stems and small leaves, giving them an airy appearance. The trumpet-shaped flowers are just sweet to look at as well as to smell. Comes in a variety of colors, including yellow, purple, blue, and orange. Fertilize every two weeks. Likes plenty of moisture and rich soil. Full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. You may pinch off branch tips upon transplanting, but it's not necessary. Pinching later in the season (after bloom) encourages late-season flowering.

Height: Mounded plants reach 8 inches in height. Trails up to 2 feet. Spacing: Plant in containers or in the garden where they can trail without interfering with other flowers.


This fragrant plant is particularly easy to grow. Flowers open in the late afternoon. Comes in red, white, pink, yellow, and blue shades. Slender stems have fewer leaves than nemesia or bacopa, making them seem very spacious. Plant in groups of five to seven plants for best effect. Attracts hummingbirds. Susceptible to frost, so transplant after all danger of frost is passed. Likes moist soil but not soggy. Fertilize every 2 to 4 weeks throughout the summer. Pinch upon transplanting to promote bushiness. The leaves are somewhat sticky, so be careful when weeding.

Height: 12-36 inches tall, depending on the variety. Space: Plant in masses of five to seven plants for best effect, spacing each plant 8-12 inches apart and groups 24 inches apart.

Sweet alyssum

Not only do these plants smell wonderful, they provide a little textural variety to the flower garden with their masses of white blooms and tiny leaves. Does well alongside nemesia and bacopa in partial sun. Fertilize every 2 to 4 weeks. Tolerates dry conditions, but doesn't mind full moisture. Will grow well in poorer or average soils. A great all-around plant.

Height: 6 to 8 inches. Spacing: Plant along the entire edge of the flower garden, spacing each plant 8 inches apart.

Sweet pea

Cut the flowers when in full bloom and bring them in the house for a delightful, long-lasting bouquet. Cut the whole flower stem to promote rebloom. Pinch transplants when they have four or more pairs of leaves. Do not like hot, dry winds and the heat of high summer. Provide partial shade. Keep moist at all times but not soggy. Likes rich soil, so amend with compost or peat and fertilize every 2 weeks during the growing season.

Height: These are climbers, so provide a trellis for best growth. Be gentle, and add support if necessary. Spacing: 6 inches apart.

Herbs such as Lemon balm, Rosemary and Chocolate Mint add a delightful layer to the scented garden, and since it's the leaves that smell pretty, you don't have to wait for your annual flowers to open. Plus, you can add these herbs to your cooking!

Shrubs add yet another lovely layer to the sweet-smelling flower garden, with Honeysuckle, Lilac and Rose being the most popular. You can keep your garden simple by choosing from the sweet annuals and herbs, however, and have a garden you can enjoy with all your senses.

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