The fragrance of a flower can transport you back in time to a beloved aunt’s cottage garden, or perhaps remind you of a cherished visit to a land far away; the scent of a bloom can truly be the scent of love. The good news is that you can recreate those warm sensations in your own backyard.
All of the following plants offer intoxicating fragrance for your garden. And while the biodiversity of the United States is significant, you’ll find something for every garden, in every region, on this list, even if winter’s persistence shortens the time to enjoy the beauty and aromas.
1. Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)
If pineapple sage’s spiky red blooms don’t catch your attention, its sweet pineapple scent surely will. This Mexican native is a perennial in USDA zones 8 to 11, but can be grown as an annual in other parts of the country. Its tubular flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds; the minty-tasting flowers are also used by humans as an addition to salads or a garnish for dessert. The leaves, too, are edible and can be used to make tea and jam.
2. Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
Thanks to its sweet scent, gardenia is infused in perfumes all over the world. Hardy in zones 8 through 11, gardenia shrubs can be grown both indoors and out, where their evergreen foliage and white flowers delightfully upgrade the landscape. Notoriously finicky, gardenias need rich and loamy soil that is acidic; they also like high humidity. They need a lot of morning sun, but some