Be Silly. Be honest. Be kind.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fragrance is key to setting the mood in the garden, but if
you only use flowers to provide fragrance, your are
limiting yourself. Aromatic foliage can provide interest
over a much longer season. As a bonus, many plants with
scented foliage have silvery or gray leaves, which adds
dimension when planted near the dark green foliage of your
Most plants with fragrant foliage love a long day of hot
summer sun, and they release their fragrance during the
heat of mid-day. They also release a burst of fragrance
when handled or bruised slightly. To increase their
effect, plant low-growing foliage such as creeping thyme
between stepping stones where they will be kicked and
scuffed, and plant taller plants near doors and walkways
where they will be brushed from time to time.
Fragrant Foliage Favorites:
Alpine Mint Bush (Prostanthera cuneata)
24 inches tall
This little evergreen shrub combines the fragrances of
mint and incense. It's not suitable for very cold
French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)
24 inches tall
This evergreen shrub has silvery foliage and a rich aroma.
Flowers are dusky rose-pink. Shelter the plants from cold
Incense Plant (Calomeria amaranthoides)
5 feet tall
This biennial has a strong scent of incense. It produces
clusters of tiny, red-brown flowers in its second year.
Save the seeds to propagate.
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla)
3 feet tall
This shrub is vigorous, but will only withstand a light
frost. The small, white flowers are not very spectacular.
It is primarily grown for its light green, heavily scented
Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)
36 inches tall
This evergreen shrub has bright scarlet flowers in late
summer and fall. It will need winter protection.
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