girl with flowers

Plant a garden that makes your senses (mainly the olfactory one) come to life! By choosing exceptionally aromatic flowers, you can create a scented garden that sparks up your sense of smell every time you step outdoors. By choosing flowers that each emit their own unique scent, you can create a sweet-smelling garden that you’ll enjoy all summer long.

Look for old world varieties of flowers to plant in your fragrant garden. Today’s hybrids are often bred for color or to resist diseases, but these traits mean that they skimp on fragrance. Heirloom flowers, which haven’t had these traits bred out, tend to keep their original intense perfume. Revitalize your sense of smell with these five aromatic flowers for your fragrant garden.

1. Daffodils

daffodils
(image: mamaloco)

The poet William Wordsworth captured daffodils’ sunny personality perfectly when he described a cluster of daffodils moving in the breeze as “tossing their heads in sprightly dance.” You can’t help but smile when you look at these top-heavy golden flowers. As if you needed more reason to add them to your garden, daffodils also smell delightful. Just be sure to choose varieties that are known for their fragrance, as some have a more powerful aroma than others.

2. Hyacinths

hyacinth
(image: Peter Nijenhuis)

While different varieties of hyacinths exist, the ones with flower bunches shaped like bells are particularly fun—and are also particularly aromatic. The teeny flowers of this variety bloom in dense clusters so that they resemble clusters of grapes. They’ll add pops of color to your garden (or a bouquet). From bright purple and magenta to softer pinks, blues, yellows and white, no matter the color, hyacinths will all give off a heady, intoxicating fragrance.

3. Peonies

peony
(image: StudioGabe // Gabriel Li)

Pretty, delicate peonies with their soft petals and equally soft fragrance will look (and smell!) lovely as part of your fragrant garden. These sweet perennials sprout large flowers and lush green foliage. The breathtaking blossoms are perfect cut flowers to plop in a vase to perfume your home, or to give to someone as a “just because” gift.

4. Lilacs

lilac
(image: E_Bass)

These spring-blooming shrubs produce that sweet fragrance that’s a favorite in beauty products and perfumes. Why not add the much-loved scent of lilac to your aromatic garden? The tiny blooms of these (usually) light purple flowers will attract more than just your nose searching for a lovely scent. Lilacs also draw in all manner of butterflies.

5. Petunias 

petunia
(image: DC_Jeff)

Let petunias show off their colorful display of flowers in your garden. This low-growing (and quick-spreading!) plant sprouts trumpet-shaped flowers that produce a light, lovely fragrance. Grow these summer blooms for happy bursts of color (everything from deep purples to light pinks to white to stripes) in your fragrant garden.

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Top image: mamaloco