Planning a Fragrant Flower Garden

Most gardeners love a colorful garden filled with blooming annuals, but many don't realize that a colorful garden can also smell good! In addition to filling your garden with wonderful scents to tickle your nose, fragrant annuals provide the added benefit of attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects that help control bad bugs.

You can build a fragrance garden by creating a layered effect with shorter annuals in the front and gradually increasing the height to the back of the bed. If you are planting a garden island, start with the taller varieties in the center and lower the height of plantings as you work towards the outer edge. Use a good amendement like GBO Planting Mix or Harvest Supreme before planting. Fertilize as needed with Gro-Power Flower 'n' Bloom.

For border plants on the outside, consider alyssum, dianthus, petunia, dwarf sweet peas and viola. Now add a layer of mid-size bloomers (1-2') such as cornflower, linaria, nasturtium, nicotiana, annual phlox, stock and wallflower. Next come the tall guys, like cleome, four o'clock, and tall sweet pea varieties. If you have room on a fence at the back of a bed, you can also plant the fragrant moonflower vine.

Shaded areas don't have to go neglected for fragrance either. Alyssum will still bloom well provided you have full morning sun, as will dianthus, linaria and viola. For shade gardens, nothing beats heliotrope, and some varieties of impatiens are moderately fragrant as well.

So remember, your flowerbeds can smell good as well as look good!

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