Scent in the Garden

When I saw WellyWoman’s post about scent in the garden yesterday I thought I had nothing new in the garden that was perfumed and so wouldn’t be able to contribute this month.

But any excuse for a walk around with the camera. 

Lonicera fragrantissima has been flowering since January and there are more flowers than ever this year.  It is planted at the top of the drive close to where we park the car so it’s glorious perfume is enjoyed every time we go out or arrive home.

 Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

 Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima

Then I remembered that I had Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’ and you can’t have a much more scented plant than a hyacinth.  This is their third year and I had imagined (hoped even) that they would stop looking like dumpy forced hyacinths and would perhaps break into two or more small stems, but no, they are obviously in an environment they like with dry summers and free draining soil.  The colour of this Hyacinth (the only variety I have) is truly gorgeous!  I’ve been taking lots of images of them with my new camera as the depth of colour is incredible.

Hyacinth 'Miss Saigon'

Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’

Hyacinth 'Miss Saigon'

Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’

Sadly Clematis Armandii almost died after the very hot summer in 2013 but at the end of last year I saw some fresh shoots which are now covered in buds, when fully open the air will be perfumed with honey.

Clematis Armandii, just beginning to open its buds

Clematis Armandii, just beginning to open its buds

A surprise is some lavender that is flowering and has been doing so for at least a month.  These are not the ones in the formal garden but some that were given to me as rooted cuttings; I was told by my friend that they flowered for the whole year but didn’t quite believe it, it seems they may have been correct and my scepticism unfounded.



In a pot on the Terrace I have a pot with some delightful violets; I love their deep blue colour and I’m sure they must be sweetly perfumed but on this cold day I couldn’t actually smell them.



The bloom I was most happy to find, as I’ve been waiting for the buds to open for a few weeks now is the species Freesia; I can’t wait until there are a few more flowers so that I can cut some to bring inside, I think the colour is lovely and the perfume of this is outstanding.

species Freesia

species Freesia

Do visit Louise to read about the scented plants she is celebrating this month.

38 thoughts on “Scent in the Garden

    • Which ones do you have? Do they return each year reliably? these are actually the first hyacinths I’ve ever planted as I find their perfume can be overpowering but out in the garden these are fine.

      • I don’t know the name of mine. I went and looked for them after reading your post and there are only a few limp leaves so they may not be very special this year. 😦 Will have to plant some more. I only like them outdoors too, as we are both a bit sensitive to certain smells indoors!

        • I shouldn’t worry about not seeing the leaves, mine just suddenly appeared, I think the foliage is stronger after the flowers have finished, like Iris reticulata.

  1. Your Hyacinth is very beautiful. I grew them for the first time last year, a variety called blue jacket. This year I’m trying an old yellow variety called City of Haarlem. Only thing is, I was disappointed last year that Blue Jacket was not more fragrant.

  2. The freesias are amazing in the scent department, especially once the temperature starts to reach the twenties….I have some planted near the back gate which acts like your Lonicera, giving a nice fragrance whenever I come or go. The Hyacinth is stunning, and you new camera is definitely capturing the beautiful colours

  3. I’m enamored with the Hyacinth. I often have problems detecting scent in my garden. I usually have to cut the flowers and bring them inside into an enclosed space before I can catch the perfume but yesterday, while working on my back slope, I realized that the honeysuckle was coming into bloom by the scent even before I noticed the yellow color of the flowers – mass plantings make a difference even with my poor nose for scent.

    • Some plants generously fill the air with their perfume but others are much more difficult to detect. I can hardly ever detect the perfume of Witch hazels but honeysuckle is usually detected from far away. Trachelospermum and Wisteria can be so strong as to almost cause a headache.

  4. I love that lavender! Would you happen to know what variety it is? It looks rather like my L. stoechas types, but in such a beautifully soft blue… That’s a wonderful closeup of the hyacinth; I can see why you like the colour 🙂

  5. I wish my winter honeysuckle had as many flowers as yours. Mine has never been floriferous, though sweetly scented. Lack of sunshine and light- its at the back of a shady border- may be the answer. seeing yours inspires me to take courage and move it. The most gorgeous scent in my garden is from the opening buds of the balsam poplar- a spicy sweet scent unlike any other- the essence of Spring.

    • There is L. fragrantissima and L. pupusii; mine may actually be the latter which is said to be more floriferous. Mine does get a lot of sun, too much probably. In Cookham I had one in a pot at the back of the house which was always in shade and it flowered well so I don’t think it is that. Rather than move it why not take some cuttings, it is very easy then you can try it in different places.

  6. Fantastic lavender, that one is. My Armandii never did well here and finally died. I never replaced it because I think our dry winds were too much for it.

    So funny, I have seen so many photos of violets on blogs lately, and I finally realized that I haven’t seen violets in Spain for many, many years. That is quite odd, because there is a traditional Spanish folksong about the “violetera” selling violets in the city, and there is a bronze statue of a “violetera” in Madrid. I wonder what has happened…

  7. You have captured the true colour of Miss Saigon better than I did! She is a beauty and I look forward to planting her out in my garden – which I suppose I could do now, striking while the iron is hot 😉 Your lonicera is such a neat shape, and lovely to have it so floriferous. You must be so pleased that your C armandii has survived. It’s not one I have at the moment having failed to grow it twice before, but I know I shall succumb again in due course! Thanks for sharing your smellies today 🙂

    • The Lonicera is ‘neat’ because the conditions don’t really suit it, it would prefer a moister soil and a bit of shade here, but it does flower well which makes me think it might not be fragrantissima but purpusii. The hyacinths on the other hand love the free draining soil and heat in summer.

  8. I’ve never heard of a lavender flowering like that, I always think that is a drawback of lavender that it has a short flowering season. It’s our plum tree that is the most perfumed at the moment and it carries a long way. Amelia

  9. Miss Saigon is such a lovely colour. My hyacinths get smaller each year but I quite like them small, they look dainty when they are no longer so chunky. I forgot to include them in my Scent in the Garden post. I have sniffed my Clematis armandii and it has no scent, perhaps they vary.
    How lovely to have Freesia in bloom. A wonderful perfume.

  10. A lovely post, Christina. You’ve got an impressive amount of scent for this time of year. I adore the colour of your hyacinth. I’m wondering how hyacinths could be used in the garden as their form is a little awkward. Perhaps in clumps? I’m certainly going to try containers next year. That species freesia is incredible. Do you know the name of it? Thank you for joining in the meme. 🙂

    • The hyacinth works OK with the Anemone but otherwise I agree they seem too clumpy for a border. I don’t like them indoors, as they are too strong. I don’t think they flower long enough to plant in pots.

  11. You do have quite a few fragrant bloomers this week!
    I’m looking forward to an excellent season of photographs from the Hesperides, you’re already doing quite well and I’m a little envious 😉

    • Don’t be envious, remember that in August my garden is much like yours in winter but without the snow! But everything asleep because of the heat and drought. As to the images, I think the camera is far more complicated than my computer so it will take a while to master it.

  12. Beautiful pictures. I sometimes think about how if dogs had invented the internet we would be able to smell things through the screen, not just see and hear them. They would have made it a priority. Imagine if I could sit here in rainy Gloucestershire and smell a garden in Italy…

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