Scent in the Garden. April.

One of the most fragrant plants in the garden is in bloom now. It has tiny yellow tufts of flowers. They pack a punch which is quite disproportionate to their diminutive size.

Aazara microphylla

Azara microphylla

Azara microphylla is an evergreen with small, glossy leaves, so even out of flower it is a nice looking tree. It comes from Chile and needs a sheltered spot.
IMG_0335
The scent wafts round the garden on the slightest breeze and anyone walking round the garden is stopped in their tracks. It is pure vanilla. Books will tell you that this is a winter -flowering shrub or tree but with me it never blooms before April. If you love scent in the garden this should be high on your list, it is  wonderful.

Skimmias have been looking good since the Winter. Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella had nice red flower buds in February but now they have opened up in to sweet smelling, starry flowers. As you can see  bees love the sweet scent too.


Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’ has lovely large highly scented greenish white flowers.

Skimmia x confusa 'Kew Green

Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green

Another evergreen shrub with glossy leaves is Osmanthus burkwoodi. It has starry white flowers which are highly scented; they smell of vanilla.

Osmanthus burkwoodii

Osmanthus burkwoodii

I love the  purple dangly  flowers of  the scrambling Akebia pentapyhylla. They smell of chocolate The scent is particularly intense at night. This Akebia is a cross between Akebia quinata and Akebia trifoliata. I bought this variety because it is supposed to be the one most likely to bear fruit. I have since learnt that you need two different varieties in order to get the amazing edible fruit.

Akebia x pentaphylla

Akebia x pentaphylla

Akebia fruit.

Akebia fruit in Norfolk.

Some of my small daffodils are fragrant. The dear little jonquil Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ has salmon cups and smells lovely. I love the fragrant, lemon coloured ‘Pipit’ too.


My most fragrant Narcissus is the well named Narcissus ‘Sweetness’, it smells delicious.

Narcissus 'Sweetness'

Narcissus ‘Sweetness’

I have a buttercup yellow, perennial Erysimum which has the lovely wallflower scent. It is called, appropriately enough Erysimum ‘Walburton’s Fragrant Sunshine’.

Erysimum 'Walburton's Fragrant Sunshine'

Erysimum ‘Walburton’s Fragrant Sunshine’

I will finish with some fragrant foliage which would be lovely even without the aniseed scent. It is Agastache rugosa ‘Golden Jubilee’.

Agastache rugosa 'Golden Jubilee'

Agastache rugosa ‘Golden Jubilee’

So there we have my favourite scented flowers for April. I am joining in with Louise’s ‘Scent in the Garden’ meme at Wellywoman blog. So if you go over there you can see other olfactory delights. What a pity we can’t have ‘scratch and sniff’ for this meme.

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51 Responses to Scent in the Garden. April.

  1. Cathy says:

    Lovely post Chloris! This is a coincidence – I had heard of neither Azara nor Akebia before this morning and have now, within the space of a few hours, read about them on your page as well as here: http://rainyleaf.com/2015/04/16/azara/ and here: https://forestgardenblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/chocolate-vine/
    Do you detect any hints of chocolate in the Azara as well? They all sound delicious!

  2. Chloris says:

    Thank you, Cathy and thank you for the links.I follow Forestgardenblog and it is always interesting. I will check out rainyleaf. Azara is more custard than chocolate and is much more fragrant than Akebia. You smell it as you walk past whereas you have to put your nose into the Akebia.

  3. Meriel Murdock, Co. Wicklow, Ireland says:

    We share a love of fragrance in the garden, though in my case I have a very windy exposed garden therefore except on exceptional days the.scent dissipates, I have to cut some! I am delghted to discover that Azara is scented, I planted a variagated one last year & shall plan some work in the vicinity soon when it flowers. Will be looking out for N. ‘Sweetness’. A Daffodill I have is N. Odorus which is to be highly recommended. A gorgeous scent different to other narcissi as well as a very pleasing jaunty appearance & longevity. Do get it if you don’t have it!

    • Chloris says:

      I will look out for Narcissus odorus Meriel, thank you for the recommendation. You won’ t be disappointed with your Azara when it gets going, the scent is delicious. By the way, do you have a blog?

  4. Christina says:

    Thanks for reminding me about this meme, it had slipped my mind. I would love to try Azara microphylla, but I don’t imagine I will find it here. Chile has cold winters so it might do well in my free draining soil. In my garden it is the wisteria that is filling the garden with its wonderful perfume, it is almost too strong to sit under it for long but every time I walk out of the door I can smell it.

  5. Alain says:

    Your pictures of Skimmia tempt me to try growing one even if it means having to change the soil as were are alkaline. at least it would work for a few years.

  6. Flighty says:

    I have to admit to a slight touch of envy reading these Scent in the Garden posts thanks to my poor sense of smell. xx

  7. Cathy says:

    Thanks for sharing your smellies with us – I have none of these, oh except the pink wallflower I had in Monday’s vase.

    • Chloris says:

      Wallflowers have such a lovely scent, they remind me of my childhood because my father always grew them.

      • Cathy says:

        And it is only since we started our vases and people mentioned the fragrance that I realised its existence – but I am well aware of it now with my nice pink wallflowers that are doing so well at the moment

  8. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your garden must smell divine! I’ve heard of the wonderful scent of Azara microphylla and have a couple variegated ones in my garden which haven’t bloomed yet or maybe I missed it. Can’t wait to experience that lovely fragrance. For a second Akebia in your garden, may I suggest Akebia quinata ‘Shirobana’ whose white flowers have a strong scent reminiscent of fragrant stock (Matthiola incana) which wafts nicely. Thanks for the tour of olfactory delights in your garden!

    • Chloris says:

      You won’ t miss it when your Azaras bloom. You only have to walk past and it hits you on a breezy day. Thanks for the Akebia recommendation. I couldn’t find this one here so I have bought Akebia quinata ‘ Cream’. It smells very sweet, quite unlike my other Akebia. I hope I will get some fruit now.

  9. Alison says:

    Wish we could smell it from here, over the Internet. I have a few scented wallflowers too, I love them.

  10. Snowbird says:

    Oh wow….Akebia pentapyhylla smells of chocolate? You’d have to prise me away from it, how unusual it is too, I do like it’s colour.
    I have been smelling everything thanks to you, and have discovered that many of my tulips are scented too….another flower I have never smelled before.xxx

  11. mrsdaffodil says:

    One of the great charms of the garden is the scents, and you’ve captured that pleasure very well in this post.

  12. Kris P says:

    Your post made me envious – I don’t have enough scent in my garden, at least not of the kind you can detect just walking through it. I was surprised to find that the Azara could grow here as I don’t recall ever seeing it in the local nurseries; however, as it needs regular water, it’s currently off limits but I could add an Osmanthus!

  13. I’ve had the fall-blooming osmanthus (‘Gulftide’ and x fortunei) and adore their scent. Why did I never think of burkwoodii for the spring?? Thanks for the idea!

  14. mattb325 says:

    I love the scented narcissus – in my garden, they waft through the entire upper garden and it’s just a beautiful, sweet welcome when you step out of the car. I have only ever seen an Azara once before in London, and the scent was absolutely amazing!

    • Chloris says:

      The great thing about scented Narcissus is that you can grow them in pots and have them at nose level on a table. Azara is amazing; most flower scents are difficult to describe but Azara is pure vanilla.

  15. Angie says:

    How I wish this post could be scratch and sniff 🙂
    Some beautiful specimens and the Azara…. I can only dream. I’m sure I have the very same Erysimum, on my phone so can’t refer. Miles away from blooming here though!

  16. gardenfancyblog says:

    Chloris, how lovely to have such fragrant flowers in spring! I’m afraid none of your sweet-smelling shrubs are hardy enough to grow in my part of the world, but the daffodils and wallflowers do, and I have also planted some stocks in pots on my porch for wafts of fragrance. Thanks for sharing your descriptions of these plants that I am mostly not familiar with. Best, -Beth

  17. Aren’t all the wonderful scents of spring intoxicating?! I’m glad that I don’t have spring allergies too bad. I wouldn’t want to miss out on all the amazing smells. Enjoy!

  18. Pauline says:

    At the moment it is Euphorbia melliferra which is scenting the garden with its perfume of honey. I have Narcissus Pipit and that smells so beautiful and an Akebia but I still have to be convinced that it smells of chocolate!

    • Chloris says:

      I love the honey smell of Euphorbia mellifera, mine got killed by frost but I have a seedling which is coming on nicely and should bloom next year. To me, the Akebia has a spicy smell with overtones of chocolate. It is not very strong though and doesn’ t follow you round the garden like that of the Azara.I wonder if the scent varies according to variety.

  19. I had heard of Akebia but had no idea they were fragrant. Right now my fragrant flowers are the Sweet Alyssum, Stock, and Hyacinths.

  20. Anna says:

    I’ve come across mention of azara but have never come across it in the flesh. It sounds rather beguiling though. As Angie says if only such posts as this could be scratch and sniff …..mmmmm…

  21. Some lovely plants in there, Chloris. And many that I can smell too! We have a fair few similar plants in our gardens. I, too, have Azara microphylla. I briefly mentioned it last month, and it’s tiny flowers are still there, but sadly too few and too low down to make an impact on the senses, so I didn’t include it this month. Can’t wait for next year, though!

    • Chloris says:

      I think the Azara takes a year or two to settle down and give of its best . The flowers are tiny but the scent is fantastic, specially on a breezy day when you can smell it at a distance. I enjoyed your Scent in the Garden post too.

      • Thank you! This is my second Azara, after losing my first one, so I remember it’s gorgeous perfume – like cake or custard! Can’t wait for it to grow a bit more. Maybe next year!

  22. Robbie says:

    Your garden must be amazing to work in with all that fragrance! How do you go inside???LOL
    Agastache rugosa ‘Golden Jubilee’-I grew some from seed this year to put in my garden:-)looking forward to the golden colored leaves against the lime green leaves….your garden is always a work of art!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Robbie. In fact I can hardly bear to go inside at the moment. We are having such a beautiful Spring and I can’ t bear to waste a moment of it.

  23. wellywoman says:

    I really don’t know why I don’t have a skimmia in my garden. They smell so incredible and they’re always covered in bees. I love ‘Kew Green’. I must see if I can find space. I’m without wallflowers this year which is such a pity – I forgot to sow them but I must do some this year. I can only imagine how wonderfully fragrant your garden must be as you have some fabulous scented plants. Scratch and sniff – wouldn’t that be good. 😉

    • Chloris says:

      I love skimmias, they look good all year round. I always forget to sow wallflower seeds but the perennial ones are great and easy from cuttings. I have bought a new one today called ‘Ruston Royal’

  24. hoehoegrow says:

    Scratch and sniff would be excellent ! I can nearly smell the Erysimum anyway! Some lovely gems, some of which are new to me, so thank you for the introduction !

  25. Chloris says:

    Do you have any perennial wallflowers? They are easy from cuttings so I can get some going if you would like any. I have bought a new one today: ‘ Ruston Royal’.

  26. Sarah says:

    Oh my Chloris, your garden smells delicious and as for your GBBD post, what a wonderful array of flowers in this perfect spring. I would love to see some “long shots” (is that the right term?) of your garden as I’m sure with your wealth of plant knowledge that you have some stunning plant combinations. I noted your comment on Rusty Duck’s blog about acers coming true from seed and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my Winkworth seed. The young foliage is looking as it should do and it coloured a spectacular scarlet last autumn so I am hopeful. I would have bought a named specimen but even at Wisley, just five minutes drive from me, all they had for sale were weirdly-named specimens that appeared to be grafted. Anyway who doesn’t love a ‘free’ plant. Thank you for your brilliant posts Chloris, I have learnt so much from you and other bloggers.

  27. Chloris says:

    Thank you for your kind comment Sarah. I will do some long shots in another post, although I do find close ups easier to photograph.

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