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Plants that make scents to grow; Hannah Stephenson looks at the plants which are likely to make our summer more fragrant.

Byline: Hannah Stephenson

MOST of us can identify familiar scents in the garden - newlymown grass, fragrant roses and lavender spring to mind.

In fact, women have a better sense of smell than men, according to a survey by Gardeners' World magazine.

The survey of 2,000 people found women were able to recognise 14 out of 15 garden scents better than men, including rose, lilac, freshly-cut grass and compost.

Freesias came out tops as our favourite, followed by strawberries and sweet peas.

So it seems timely to create a scented garden to educate not only our men but to provide endless days and nights of aromatic summer pleasure outdoors. Indeed, many plants grown for their scent come into their own at dusk, including nightscented stocks, honeysuckle, jasmine and nicotiana.

Others, such as lavender, thyme and rosemary, release their scent when you make contact with them, so are ideal for edging paths.

Sheltered spots devoid of wind, which can blow the scent away, will provide an area of intense fragrance.

If you have a bench in a sheltered spot, try growing roses up around it so you can catch that intensity when you sit.

Sweet scents which do well together include cottage garden favourites such as sweet pea, lilac, honeysuckle and rose.

If you like woody notes with sweet scents, go for lavender, sage and thyme, while more spicy notes are gained from dianthus, azalea and bay.

If you're after scent when you open your patio doors, keep your containers and hanging baskets close by.

I have a basket outside my patio door in the summer filled with the petunia Surfinia Blue Vein, whose flowers have a deep blue throat which pales into the white outer petal. The smell of this type is fantastic.

If you have an archway or pergola, choose from scented climbers including honeysuckles, wisterias, roses and jasmine.

Trachelospermum jasminoides is a slow-growing climber which will reach around 10m (32ft) in height if placed against a warm wall.


FRAGRANT BLOOMS White jasmine flowers, above, and scented poached egg plants mixed with chive flowers, right
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 2, 2012
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