Stinkers are not the sort of plants you want to grow in a normal garden. So here are a few to avoid unless your adenoids stop you getting even the faintest whiff.
Stinking Hellebore gives off the smell of rotting meat to earn the Latin name Helleborus foetidis and warn us that the plant is poisonous. It’s flowers native are beautiful but the whole plant niffs.
Stinking Henbane or Hyoscyamus niger has a sickly evil smell that Culpepper says’ the whole plant hath a very ill soderiferous smell’.
Stinking Meadow rue has a sticky covering on its leaves that also smell like dead fish
Stinkhorn fungus has putrid, spore-laden, phallus-like fruiting bodies that appear almost overnight and to many people it is ‘Top of the Pongs’.
Carnivorous plants attract flesh and fecal-loving insects to visit their stinking blossoms but they wonâ€™t attract me.
The Skunk Cabbage takes some beating as you may expect with a name like that aka Lysimachia punctata
All this without farmyard smells, rotting vegetation, over wet sour compost, garlic breath in the wrong place, animal waste, the list of pet hates is endless. Thankfully there are even more good smelling plants than bad so just watch how you sniff
It has been difficult to finalise a list of the top 10 fragrant plants. So I have elected to chose my ten favourite flowers with a selected variety. I have cheated by including two roses but could easily have 10 or 100 roses in a list.
Your personal choice will vary based on your own appreciation of scent. The result from flowers will depend on the location, culture and selections you make.
Philadelphus lemoinei ‘innocence’ Mock Orange single creamy white flowers
Hyacynth ‘Bismark’ porcelain blue
Wisteria sinensis the white form if you can find it
Honeysuckle Lonicera americanum with masses of rich spicy flowers
Regal Lily lilium regale
Datura inoxia another white form needing some protection
You do not always associate Tulips with fragrance but here is a selection that may be worth trying.
Tulips do not need to be planted until November but if you want specific varieties it may be worth getting your order in sooner rather than later.Now is the time to check what is flowering well in your area and select you favourites. I have receiveÂ bulb catalogues in July and the newspaper had a special offer this morning on lily flowers tulips. If you can’t get to a specialist nursery try mail order as your bulbs will be supplied at the right time and in good condition.
Scented Botanical or Species Tulips
T. aucheriana rich sweet flowers open flat
T. celsiana Persian tulip June blooms delicious scent
T. gesneriana scarlet flowers sweetly scented
T. primulina primrose yellow flowers smelling of lily of the valley
T. saxatillis lilac flowers with primrose scent
T. suaveolensscarlet scented blooms
T. sylvestris Lemon-yellow with sweet perfume
T .fragrans pronounced scent as you would expect with a name like that
Other Fragrant Tulips worth Considering
Double tulips which can be planted in pots or near a door :
Mahonia Japonica and Mahonia aquifolium are species to watchout for.
Mahonia nervosa is a low growing species, Creeping Oregon grape is called Mahonia repens.
The berries give rise to the name ‘Oregon Grape’ for the Mahonia
A century ago Sweet Violets were part of the Victorian way of life. Florists and street vendors sold them and ladies carried or wore them. Since ancient Greek times and through medieval times Sweet Violets were more than a flower or scent, they were used as a sweetener, a deodorant and medicinal uses. They were also a symbol of love used on St Valentines day and there are many Violet stories surrounding Napoleon and Josephine where the flowers are still popular in France.
Gardeners Tips For Growing Sweet Violets
Grow from seed or propagate from the stolens (runners)
Sweet Violets like a moist soil.
Feed them with a high potash feed or low nitrogen feed to optimise the flowers.
Violas are very easy to grow and tolerate of most soil types.
Viola odorata are perfect for partial shade and once established multiply quickly.
Recognising Sweet Violets – Viola odorata
Viola odorata is a perennial that spreads by runners and grows about 4″ high.
In the wild they grow in light woodland or under a hedge row in a humus rich soil.
The scented flowers are available in white as well as the deep violet.
Viola odorata has short spurred flowers that are very fragrant and a dark – purpleish blue colour.
The leaves are rounded, almost heart shaped with crinkled edges.
Also available in Pink is the viola odorata subcarnea.
Repeat flowering old Rose varieties do what it says in their name whilst the first 5 in my Top Ten only flower once per year but still inspire.
Old Rose Top Ten
CelsiahaÂ this Damask rose is strong and vigourous with good clusters of large, lasting, pale pink flowers.
Enfant de France is a compact gallica rose with sweet scented, double flowers in a silvery pink with quilled petals.
Rosa gallica Versicolour or Rosa mundi is a 16th Century semi double variety with candy striped red and white flowers.
Mme Hardy is a pure white rose opening from a slightly pink bud on a shrub up to 6 feet tall. It is disease resistant and good in an organic garden.
Mme Sancy de Parabere is a thornless climber. Early flowering yet hardy plant with double, saucer-shaped flowers and ragged petals of deep lavender pink.
John Hooper is a strong scented pink hybrid with perpetual flowering.
Gloire Lyonnaise Semi-double creamy white blooms on a very erect shrub. Virtually thornless shrub that withstands wet weather better than most.
Captain Hayward has light crimson, shapely, double flowers with excellent orange hips.
Paul Neyron has large 6″ flowers in a deep shade of pink.
Souvenier du Doctor Jamain has medium-sized flowers of the richest maroon colouring, opening flat. Grows 6ft. tall x 3ft. wide.
Classes of Old Roses
The Gallicas are probably the oldest of all garden roses forming short bushy shrubs, many of which are quite suitable for small gardens. They were grown by the Greeks and Romans then bred in 17th century by the Dutch and French.
Among them are some very fine roses with magnificent mixtures of colour particularly among the crimson, purple and mauve shades. They have beautiful flower formation with open upright blossom which shows the yellow stamens
All of the Gallicas are once blooming and most have very good fragrances. â€˜Tuscanyâ€™ variety is an almost black purple may be the oldest surviving Gallica from pre 1596.
Damask roses are another very old group, said to have originally been brought from the Middle East by the Crusaders. …