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Southern California Gardening: Add Scents to Your Garden

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Want to add fragrance to your Southern California garden? See how these fragrant plants can add a new, unseen and sensual dimension to your garden.

southern CA

In my California summer garden, brilliant flowers with strong, sweet scents rule the day. Sweet peas in flashy shades of pink, purple and red insinuate themselves among the vines of pungent ‘Cecile Brunner’ and the thornless ‘Zephirine Douhin’ roses on the terrace.

They scramble up tuteurs and clamber over a pergola, offering their sweet, old-fashioned aromas to everyone who enters the gate. The more flowers I pick, the more they produce, so for months my kitchen and hallway flaunt their fresh and unmistakable perfume.

When the sun sets, everything changes. As the light shades from twilight gray and rose to a dark, star-flecked sky, scent becomes the “color” of the night.

I could take my night walks through the garden blindfolded and know, by the heady aromas in each area, exactly where I was standing. Citrus trees, gardenias, cereus and jessamine create a bouquet of the mixed night scents I love.

Outside our bedroom window a sturdy trellis supports a decades-old night-blooming jasmine. The rambunctious vine, with its shiny, dark-green leaves, looks handsome all year long. But in June, when the first of thousands of white-star blossoms appear, the jasmine takes center stage. You can’t walk anywhere in the garden without noticing its fragrant presence.

The choice of a few of your favorite fragrant plants can add a new, unseen and sensual dimension to your garden. Don’t you deserve a treat?

  • Find the scent that sings to you and plant a specimen near a seating area.
  • Add unexpected fragrance to your garden by planting in containers that you can move around.
  • Think UP! Grow scented plants up arbors, trellises and tuteurs in areas that may not have any pizzazz.
  • Plant a favorite near a window or doorway.