The Q&A Archives: Mediterranean Fragrance Garden

Question: I'll be moving to Southern California in a couple months, and wonder if you could suggest an imaginative variety of annuals that I might plant for a fragrance garden. I'm especially interested in flowers with strong, even over-powering aromas.

Answer: Annuals and perennials with heavy scents include Centaurea (Sweet Sultan) Convallaria (Lily-of-the-Valley), Cosmos atrosanguineus (Chocolate Cosmos), Dianthus (Pinks) Freesia, Hedychium coronarium (White Ginger Lily) Heliotrope, Iberis amara, Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Pea), Nicotiana, Summer Phlox, and Viola odorata (Sweet Violet). Some of these plants prefer full shade and others like full sunshine, so you may want to plant two separate beds of fragrant flowers to accommodate the needs of each.

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