Fragrance adds another dimension of pleasure to your garden and heightens your outdoor experience by encompassing the most powerful of our senses - smell. Fragrant plants intoxicate and romanticize any setting and attract important pollinators like hummingbirds and bees - a good reason to keep fragrance in mind when selecting plants for your garden. Fragrance becomes intensified in enclosed areas, so plant your most fragrant selections in a courtyard or trellised patio or surround your garden with hedges and windbreaks to encourage the fragrance of plants to linger. According to Feng Shui ideology, fragrant plants in the front yard will attract Chi, or natural energy.
Flowers are fragrant because it makes them attractive to their pollinators, drawing them in by scent before they actually see the flower. The fragrance that plants carry comes from oils produced in the glands found in leaves, bark, fruit, wood, seeds, flowers and roots. Fragrance is created when the oils evaporate and the molecules are released into the air. There are many different essential oils found in the plant kingdom, and each plant has a mixture of compounds that make up its unique fragrance. These essential oils are perceived differently to everyone. What may be alluring to one may be pungent to another. Many plants have distinctive fragrances, but it is the subtle mingling of scents from a variety of plants that will tempt your senses. A plant's fragrance is dynamic and may subtly change from day to night or from spring to fall.
Place flowering plants in different parts of the garden to provide continuous fragrance throughout the year and think of more than flowers when planting a fragrant garden - leaves, fruit, bark, roots, seedpods, buds and stems also produce a wonderful array of scents. Plant a row of Rosemary near your entry, then run your hand along as you pass by for a burst of earthy fragrance. Extend your aromatic pleasure by bringing your favorite scented plants inside. Citrus trees are wonderfully fragrant. Even if you live in a cold climate, plant dwarf varieties of citrus in pretty containers and place them in a sunny window indoors in the fall. You'll be rewarded with fragrant blossoms and pretty green foliage all winter long. Enhance your interior with the all-time fragrant favorite: Gardenia. Monrovia's grafted gardenias are spectacular planted in decorative pots and placed close by so you can appreciate their heady scent. And, even when they're not in bloom, they make a lovely indoor plant with their shiny, dark green leaves.