Fragrant Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Opelika, AL
Question by moffejm
February 1, 1998
I am trying to create a fragrance garden in Central Alabama. Could you suggest some sources, ideas, catalogues, etc. that specialize or feature hardy fragrant shrubs (trees and flowers are OK, too)? I am especially interested in plants which have a very long blooming season - preferably all Summer.

Answer from NGA
February 1, 1998


Not many shrubs bloom all season long - sustained bloom is more a habit of annual flowers and some herbaceous perennials. Exceptions are roses, especially some old-fashioned shrub and climbing roses, which have great fragrance, disease resistance, and repeat bloom. For more information and sources, visit the American Rose Society website at

In perusing a beautiful book, "Gardening with Native Plants of the South", by Sally Wasowski (Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas TX; ISBN# 0-87833-802-0), I find a section on fragrance gardening. It emphasizes the use of trees & shrubs, but cautions that most natives prefer woodland conditions (moist but well-drained, acidic soil in partial shade), though some are tolerant of more moderate pH. Her list of fragrant shrubs, trees, herbs and perennials is a long one! Perhaps your library or bookstore can get the book for you.

In her "Sources" section, she suggests a booklet: "A Source Book of Useful Info on Horticulturally UsefulNative Plants of the Southeaster US", 1985, 87 pp., Western Carolina University (sorry, no address given). I can also recommend Carroll Gardens (444 East Main St., Westminster MD 21157; ph# 800/638-6334) as a plant source. Hope this gets you started!

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