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5 Fragrant Plants for Garden Parties

5 Fragrant Plants for Garden Parties

You’ve taken the time to place tea lights around your garden, planning the perfect ambient glow for your party. A tiny bonfire is lit, and bowls of fresh produce are all you need for seasonal decoration. But be sure to cover all your sensory bases! In a small space like a balcony or patio, using plants that give off a scent can make for a holistic experience that’s all the richer. Here are 5 favorite fragrant plants perfect for small spaces that will make a big impact on your guests’ olfactory systems.

1. Lavender: There are hundreds of varieties of lavender, so you’ll want to take a trip to the nursery to pick out which one smells best to you. Lavender is drought-resistant and likes plenty of sun. It’s also important to remember to cut off dead flowers to trigger the plant to produce more. Get the full experience by serving lavender honey lemonade.

2. Scented Geranium: Plant this one closest to the seating area on your deck so that anyone sitting nearby will be enveloped by the subtle scent that comes from this plant’s leaves. Geraniums in general are easy to grow and scented ones are no different. You can often propagate them by simply cutting off a stalk and sticking it in some dirt. Plus there’s a huge selection: chocolate, citrus, mint, and more.

3. Honeysuckle: Like jasmine, honeysuckle is a flowering vine that can give off a powerful odor. Some people find it too strong, but its super sweet fragrance and pretty flowers make for a great fence cover or trellis plant near an open window.

4. Gardenias: Nothing beats the smell that comes from these magical white blooms, but gardenias can be finicky to plant. They originated in a subtropical Asian environment with mild winters and warm summers. In your garden or on your patio, gardenias will want filtered light rather than bright sun. Learn to grow them with Mother Earth Living’s advice.

5. Mint: Mint is pretty much a magical plant. You can eat the leaves, drink tea made from the leaves and you can’t easily get rid of it (like some persistent party attendees). As you brush against it in the garden it releases its scent, and if you plant it in a place that is on the damp side it will grow like a weed. And what guest wouldn’t like a leaf in their mojito or this delicious tabouli recipe?

Of course the list of amazingly scented plants goes on and on — from roses to rosemary — but these five plants pack quite a party punch. Your friends will leave sensing that there was truly something (wonderful) in the air that night.

Love plants for more than just their scents? Then you should check out the handy When to Plant app to help you grow your best garden more easily with regional planting calendars and growing information for more than 120 veggies and herbs, including mint and lavender.

Related Care2 articles:

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


+ add your own
8:01PM PDT on Aug 11, 2013

love the smell of lavender and gardenia :)

Just great, if you add mint and make mojitos

10:50AM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

Great plants,thanks for sharing

6:27PM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

Thank You for the share! Wonderful ideas :)

1:55AM PST on Jan 31, 2013

Love Gardenias, Jasmine, Sweet peas etc., thank you for article , I'm looking forward to spring!!

9:19AM PST on Jan 6, 2013

can't wait for spring

4:06PM PST on Jan 5, 2013

Don't forget night scented stock!

9:59AM PST on Jan 4, 2013


3:11AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Is there anyone having a garden party in January?

3:19PM PST on Dec 30, 2012

Honeysuckle is a favorite, though you should be careful - some can be invasive and difficult to contain. I have had lousy luck with gardenias, better with jasmine - another super-sweet scent. Lavender is subtle and wonderful - and so useful - grow as much as you can! Scented geraniums are lovely, and many can be wintered over As for mint - yowsa! So many varieties to choose from, so I just get a couple new ones every year and add them to the collection! My new favorite is chocolate mint - swoon!

12:34PM PST on Dec 30, 2012

Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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