This garden is a fragrant delight offering a variety of different scents from June to September.
Fragrant garden planting plan
1. Actaea simplex ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ (bugbane) (1) – zone 3
2. Hemerocallis ‘Scentual Sundance’ (daylily) (2) – zone 2
3. Echinacea ‘Fragrant Angel’ (coneflower) (1) – zone 3
4. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ (lavender) (3) – zone 4
5. Cosmos atrosanguineus (chocolate cosmos) (3) – zone 8
6. Phlox paniculata ‘Norah Leigh’ (tall border phlox) (2) – zone 3
7., 8. and 9. Lilium (Oriental lily hybrid) (3) – zone 4
10. Thymus praecox (purple carpet creeping thyme) (planted around all the stepping stones) – zone 2
“Plant this garden in fall, anytime before hard frost, or in early spring,” suggests Kelly Schroeder of Heritage Perennials, “to provide an unforgettable garden experience next summer.”
The focal point of this circular bed, defined by the pathway of stepping stones, is the Actaea simplex (formerly Cimicifuga) ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ planted right in the centre. The fragrant pale-pink flower spikes are a wonderful contrast to the bugbane’s distinctive black leaves.
Hemerocallis ‘Scentual Sundance’ shows its large golden-yellow blooms, sometimes from as early as May right until the first frost. Alongside this daylily is Echinacea ‘Fragrant Angel’.
Butterflies visiting the coneflower have only a short flight to the equally attractive ‘Hidcote’ lavender growing alongside, its violet-purple flower spikes showing well against the greyish-green foliage.
Chocolate-scented Cosmos atrosanguineus makes an attractive companion for Phlox paniculata ‘Norah Leigh’. Vigorous and easy to grow, its white flowers have a rose-pink eye. The pink is picked up again in the nearby fragrant, star-shaped flowers of the Oriental lilies.
This garden is in its prime from mid to late summer and goes almost completely dormant in winter. The mat-forming thyme planted around the stepping stones remains evergreen, although in the colder months it will not release its fragrance. Consider putting an ornamental piece in this bed during winter to add year-round interest. Good sun exposure is needed to keep these perennials compact and blooming well, although light shade, especially during the hottest part of the day, will keep the foliage lush.