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August is a time of the year when many of us love to spend more time in the garden. Especially on warm summer evenings, it’s a real joy to sit outside and relax after a hard day’s work. What better way to add to that feeling of relaxation than by adding plants that give off delicious evening fragrance?

There are a range of different types of night scented plants.  They can be annuals, hardy, and tender perennials as well as climbers. Whichever ones you choose, it’s a good idea to plant them where you can really appreciate their gorgeous aromas, usually near seating or dining areas or by windows. To maximise their impact try to place them in sheltered parts of the garden where their scent will hang around rather than be blown away by the wind.

CLIMBERS

1. Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine)

Star jasmine is a very popular evergreen climber. When established, it produces many white, highly scented flowers from mid to late summer. It’s easy to manage but best grown in a sheltered area like a house wall because it’s not fully hardy.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy through most of the UK
  • Grows up to 4m tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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2. Lonicera pericylmenum (honeysuckle)

One of the finest evening scents comes from our native honeysuckle, which pumps out masses of wonderful fragrance morning, noon and night. It will soon cover any wall, trellis or pergola with its columnar upright habit. Perfect for a wildlife garden or cottage garden, it’s an attractive plant for pollinators.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 4m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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3. Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria)

For sheer romance you can’t beat the look and smell of a wisteria in full flower. It doesn’t flower for long, but it has a big impact when it does. Look out for any cultivar of Wisteria floribunda as these are said to have the strongest night scent with violet blue, pink or white. Again, they look wonderful when trained against a wall or cascading over a pergola.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 4m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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BIENNIALS

4. Hesperis matronalis (sweet rocket)

This is a fantastic biennial plant for growing in flower borders. It grows to around 75cm tall, producing either white or lavender colour flowers in early summer. Not only do the flowers look great, but they give off the most delicious scent which becomes stronger during the evening. An added bonus is that it will also self-seed around the garden.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 75cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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5. Nicotiana sylvestris (tobacco plant)

Alternatively, try the tobacco plant (Nicotiana sylvestris) which grows as tall as sweet rocket but flowers in late summer. The white flowers give off a really intense fragrance in the evenings, and due to its height it’s best grown at the back of a border or in large containers.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen
  • Grows up to 1m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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PERENNIALS

6. Brugmansia suaveolens (Angel’s trumpet)

For real patio impact and a plant to wow your friends and family with, look no further than this majestic plant. Huge trumpet-shaped, highly scented flowers, often as long as 30cm, bloom in summer. The flower colours range from white to soft yellow, orange and red. The plants are not hardy, so best grown in a pot and protected over winter either inside the house or a heated greenhouse. Be careful though as all parts of the plant can be poisonous.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Can be grown outside in summer
  • Grows up to 2.5m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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7. Dianthus (pinks) ‘Memories’ 

For a beautiful old fashioned, cottage garden type flower you can’t beat this low-growing perennial. The white, clove-scented blooms will add a spicy scent to your summer garden. It can be grown in the ground, but for maximum scent impact it’s best grown in a container where you can place them on a table.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 50cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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ANNUALS

8. Petunia [Tumbelina series] ‘Priscilla’

Surprisingly, some petunias are scented! Look out for Tumbelina series as they give off a glorious vanilla scent and are wonderful planted in hanging baskets. The stems can trail to 90m long, having a wonderful trailing effect.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen
  • Grows up to 50cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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9. Matthiola longipetala (night-scented stock) 

These are probably the easiest of the night scented flowers to grow. Simply scatter seeds in July or early August in the border where you want them to flower, ideally close to the house or an open window. Then, within weeks you should be rewarded with a delightfully sweet night fragrance. Not only can you enjoy them, but they are a great plant for pollinators too.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows up to 50cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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BULBS

10. Lilium regale (regal lily)

For the ultimate strong evening fragrance, you can’t beat the aroma that comes from regal lilies. These statuesque bulbs produce handsome white flowers flushed with pink during mid-summer. They are easy to grow and look fantastic in containers, but beware as they are toxic to cats.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 1.5m tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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So, accompany your social and relaxing time in the garden with these plants that give fantastic evening fragrance. The flowers and foliage of these plants are a great addition to the seating or dining areas of your home. Alternatively, planting them near open windows means you can make the most of the night-time scents in your home too.

Spring is here, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
Pinterest
Pinterest Board

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