Scent for summer
When summer arrives, take advantage of glorious evenings by entertaining under the stars. Add to the experience by planting sweetly scented flowering plants near your patio. Life is a garden, so take advantage of the magnificent South African climate this summer by enjoying mealtimes outdoors on your patio. In this country, we love to entertain outside, so why not enhance your outdoor space with the heady fragrance of scented shrubs, which release their scent into the cool evening air?
Many perfumed plants are so easy to grow, so plant some in your garden near your patio, or in containers or window boxes. Add drama to the scene by choosing white flowering plants, which show up at night. The large flowers of the moonflower (Brugmansia spp.), the white, heavily fragrant blooms of indigenous Gardenia thunbergia and the floriferous yesterday-today-and-tomorrow are perfect candidates.
Also try scented climbers such as semi-hardy white mandevilla (Mandevilla laxa) with its large trumpet shapes blooms or Chinese wisteria with its pendulous sweet scented lilac blooms. The star of the show is star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) with its masses of scented white blooms. Grow it as a climber, sprawling shrub, a low clipped ground cover or even as a standard! Indigenous wild Jasminum multipartitum can be used either as a climber or as a loose shrub, and produces scented white starry flowers in summer.
Some plants release their scent when bruised or brushed against, making them ideal for planting along a busy pathway, where passers-by will be rewarded with lingering perfumes.
- Lavender has aromatic, silver-grey or green-grey leaves and flower spikes that are green/white, pink, lavender or purple. It is a sun-lover, water wise and hardy.
- Rosemary ‘McConnell’s Blue’ emits an appetising aroma. It is hardy, drought tolerant and easy to grow.
Scented leaf pelargoniums have small flowers and are grown for their wide variety of leaf scents, such as lemon, orange, rose, peppermint, nutmeg that release their scent when touched. Try also Pelargonium ‘Mozzie Buster’ which produces the smell of citronella oil, excellent for repelling mosquitoes. They thrive in sun and are semi-hardy