Fragrance in the Garden

“Fragrance in the Garden”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana


We usually want our gardens to appeal to all the senses.  Of course, the visual is often the one we always concentrate on the most with colorful flowers and foliage.  Sound would be singing birds and running water.  Touch involves texture; who can resist stroking Lamb’s Ears.  The sense I have been noticing most in the last few days is the sense of smell.  It is most apparent in early evening.  Right now the ligustrum, star jasmine, and privet are blooming.

Ligustrum especially when planted in masses can have an overpowering fragrance.  We only have one that is blooming, but that one can certainly fill a large area with its aroma.






On of the opposite side of our property is the star or confederate jasmine.  This one really perfumes the evening air.  While you can definitely can smell this over a large area, it is still a very delicate and non-overbearing scent.  I can understand why this was often planted outside of bedroom windows before air conditioning became so popular.  Here it is growing up a tree.  This will be the last year we see this on the pine tree since the vine has become too big and must come down.  But it does make a remarkable column of white flowers.









This is why I have been tearing out this jasmine; it is starting to really take over.  Here it is growing through a yew.  I ripped out a whole wall of this last year, and it seems there is still more to do.





Finally, there is a tree that blooms at this time of year that is so lovely, but is the bane of my existence – the wild privet.




It has small white flower clusters, a nice fragrance, all of which makes it so appealing to the uninformed.  This produces black berries which reseed EVERYWHERE.  There are little seedlings all over, in the garden, in the lawn, and even in containers.  I usually let this one bloom and then cut it back before it sets its seeds.  Earlier this year I got rid of several that were growing on the property line, and now this one will be cut back and not allowed to grow.  This will only help a little, since the neighbor has a large tree on her property, but I figure every little bit helps.

So, right now, here, in our garden, the sense of smell seems to be the most dominate, and with the lovely cool, evening temperatures we have been having, it makes for an enjoyable garden experience.


  1. Joy said,

    April 23, 2009 at 5:05 am

    You wrote that description so well, I think I can smell it here in the frozen north almost ? LOL
    I am very keen on scent in the garden .. anise hyssop, lavenders, lilies .. herbs upon herbs .. I can’t imagine a garden without that !

  2. Randy said,

    April 23, 2009 at 6:28 am

    How sad about the Jasmine, It’s such a beautiful specimine. How many years have you had it?

    • Jan said,

      April 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm

      Joy, fragrance is such an added plus to a garden. I wish I could grow lavender here, and you are right that the herbs and their aroma are wonderful.

      Randy, it was a small vine when we moved into this house. It was knocked back by a few freezes, when it was young, but after about three years, it survived anything. I guess it is about 33 years old, but has only been a problem maybe the last four years.

      MNG, to me there is not a color around better than spring green. I love to see those first new leaves popping out.

      Sheila, I am looking forward to late summer when the night blooming jasmine is in flower. It makes the summer nights so nice just like your pink jasmine does for winter.

      Robin, like I wrote above, ours didn’t really become a problem until lately. I wish I would have started cutting it back after it bloomed about ten years ago, then I think it would still be manageable. You shouldn’t have a problem if you keep an eye on it.

  3. mothernaturesgarden said,

    April 23, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I was just thinking lately how spring feels so good because it fills all our senses. Yesterday, while out I noticed the woods are no longer gray but green and everything looks so fresh.

  4. Sheila said,

    April 23, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I am just waiting for my star jasmine to bloom, it should be soon. We have enjoyed the heady fragrance of pink jasmine over the winter and it has finally died down, although it usually comes back for a small encore in summer. Looking forward to warm, heady-scented nights!

  5. Robin said,

    April 23, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Wow, my ligustrums bloom a lot, but I have never had a fragrance from them. I wish I did. And I just planted star jasmine – I hope I can keep it under control! After seeing your post, I’ll watch it carefully to keep it from taking over the cedar elm it is planted under, because it’s my favorite tree ever. Perhaps I should move it?

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