Scent in the Garden. July.

I am a bit late in the month but I didn’t want to let July slip by without recording some of its delicious fragrances. There are still some lovely scents in the garden even thought the first flush of roses and lilies is over. The Regales and Madonna and Martagon lilies were wonderful despite having tatty leaves because of lily beetle. I can’t imagine why I forgot to show them in last month’s Scent in the Garden; what an oversight.

Lilium regale

Lilium regale

Lilium regale is very easy from seed and germinates readily. They bloom in a couple of years;  three at the most. They smell absolutely delicious. Sadly they have finished now, I really must stop showing you June flowers when we are supposed to be talking about July.

Anyway, we do have some beautiful July lilies out now.  First of all I’d like to show you the unusual little Turk’s cap, Lilium lankongense from China.

Lilium lankongense

Lilium lankongense

I have the heavily scented Lily ‘Golden Splendour’ out now. I had forgotten to stake it  and I found it sprawling all over the tree peony. What a lovely surprise.

Lilium 'Golden Splendour'

Lilium ‘Golden Splendour’

Another Lily which comes back each year to delight is the tall Oriental x Trumpet Lily ‘Robert Swanson’. It has a wonderful scent too.

Lilium 'Robert Swanson'

Lilium ‘Robert Swanson’

I still have a few roses scenting the garden. The wonderful, very fragrant David Austin Rosa ‘Summer Song’ is blooming again and ‘Grace’ is blooming away as merrily as she was in June.  Last year I bought a rose recommended by Sarah Raven. She says it is one of the best pink ones for picking. It is very fragrant too. It is a deep pink one called ‘Princess Alexandre’.


There are some lovely fragrant climbers in bloom at the moment. Two late flowering honeysuckles are a particular delight. I showed you the first one for Bloom Day, but I forgot to show you the yellow one. I cannot remember the name of it at the moment. I dare say it will come to me in the middle of the night.

Trachelospermum has an absolutely gorgeous scent and I have several dotted about including a golden one, Trachelospermum asiaticum in a pot by the pond.

Trachelospermum asiaticum

Trachelospermum asiaticum

Rrachelospermum jasmioides

Trrachelospermum jasmioides

I am not keen on the scent of Jasmine in the house, it is too cloying but I like it growing against the wall where I just catch a whiff of it as I walk past. Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’ is a very pretty one and in fact it is just the colour of Cornish clotted cream.

Jasminum officinale 'Clotted Cream'

Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’

Clematis flammula which has the common name of ‘Virgin’s Bower’, has masses of small starry flowers which are deliciously fragrant. I have it growing up an old Plum tree. I first read about it in a Vita Sackville West book years ago; she said it smells musty but I find it sweet. She also said that it flowers in September but mine is in bloom now.

Clematis flammula

Clematis flammula

Sweet Peas are so easy from seed, I expect most of us have them flowering away as long as we remember to pick them regularly. The scent is wonderful but I am always disappointed that they don’t last very long in a vase. I have purple and white ones but I can’t remember which varieties I sowed now.
DSC_0728

Lavender is wonderfully fragrant and I have them dotted round the garden, they are so easy from cuttings. The lavender hedge round the terrace is ‘Hidcote’.  It is a lovely dark colour and is quite compact as long as you prune it properly which I’m afraid I haven’t . I love it even though I read somewhere that John Brookes said a lavender hedge is ‘Old Ladyish’. What a cheek. I am not going to sew lavender bags or dab it behind my ears. The scent always reminds me of Provence and that has nothing to do with old ladies. I also have a pink one called Lavendula angustifolia ‘Loddon Pink’.

Lavendula angustifolia 'loddon Pink'

Lavendula angustifolia ‘loddon Pink’

In pots I grow the South African bulb, Albuca shawii. It is my favoutite Albuca, with pretty, nodding yellow heads. It smells sweet and perhaps a bit like aniseed, but not quite. It is very easy from seed.

Albuca shawii

Albuca shawii

Also in a pot, as it is not quite hardy, I have the lovely dark red Chocolate Cosmos, Cosmos atrosanguineus. The velvety flowers really do smell of chocolate.

Cosmos atrosanguineus

Cosmos atrosanguineus

The rest of my fragrant plants for this month have leaves that need to be crushed  or brushed past to enjoy the scent. I love the silvery foliage and creamy buttons of Santolina chamaecyparissus ‘Lemon Queen’. It has an aromatic scent.

Santolina chamaecyparissus 'lemon Queen'

Santolina chamaecyparissus Lemon Queen’

Agastaches smell of liquorice. I love Agastache foeniculcum ‘Golden Jubilee growing with some cheap and cheerful annual Calendula.

Agastache foeniculum 'golden Jubilee'

Agastache foeniculum ‘golden Jubilee’

Even prettier is the orange Agastache ‘Summer sunset’.

Agastahe 'Summer Sunset'

Agastache ‘Summer Sunset’

Scented Pelargoniums have very aromatic leaves. I have two; the well-known ‘Attar of Roses’, which is delicious and also one called ‘Orange Fizz’ which really does have the zingy scent of oranges.

I will finish with a plant which I keep in a pot by the back door because it smells of pure lemons when I brush past it. I keep it in the greenhouse in the winter because I don’t think it is fully hardy. It used to be called Lippia citriodora which was easy to remember, but it is now called Aloysia triphylla. It has bright green, narrow leaves on tall upright stems. It relishes a warm sunny spot.

Aloysia triphylla

Aloysia triphylla

The idea of a monthly meme for scented plants was one devised by Louise at Wellywoman blog and Sue at Backlane Notebook. I would love to hear which fragrant plants other people are enjoying at the moment.

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51 Responses to Scent in the Garden. July.

  1. I love the idea of a late scented summer garden. I think John Brooke’s was just being clever, the film ‘Laides In Lavender’ was superb … but hugely misleading! I always think purple flowered agastache smell of black currants …. Personally, I love Trachelospernum jasminoides, yes, outside, as I think it should be. It is one of those rare plants that in our cool climate is truly sophorific.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh yes, I had forgotten about that film, it was wonderful, but then it would be with Judy Dench and Maggie Smith. I haven’ t got a purple Agastache, although I have often admired it. Now you tell me that it smells of blackcurrants I am intrigued, I will look out for it.

  2. rusty duck says:

    I do like the scent of the Chocolate Cosmos. In a pot is a good idea as I’ve never successfully kept it over winter. Even digging it up and replanting doesn’t seem to work.
    Honeysuckle is wafting beautifully here and the last blooms of Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’.

    • Chloris says:

      I have had the same experience digging the Cosmos up. And cuttings root all right but don’t seem to survive the winter. It is a pity because I would like lots of it rather than just one pot.
      Your Philadelphus is late, how nice to be enjoying it still.

  3. I am envious of your Robert Swanson Lilies, gorgeous. The Jasmines are named differently here, I am going to look into it, Asiatic Jasmine is used as a clipped groundcover?! I have never seen one flowering, maybe all the clipping does that.
    My Florida Gardenia (not a real Gardenia) has been blooming, along with the Frangipani – it got blown over in a storm but is still blooming. Arabian Jasmine is a small tree and has been in flower as well.

    • Chloris says:

      Robert Swanson is a showy lily that comes back each year and is very glamorous.
      I am sorry I should have given the Latin for the Jasmine, I always make a fuss when other people use the common names, specially on American blogs and I have no idea what they are talking about. It is Jasminum officinale ‘ Clotted Cream’. Do you know it? Now your turn, what on earth is Asiatic Jasmine?

      • Trachelospermum asiaticum, looks like Vinca minor to me if you have that. The Jasmines in Florida are a curious lot, weird semi creeping shrub things, near trees and then vines, I don’t have them sorted yet.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh yes, I know what Arabian Jasmine is; Jasminum sambac, it is beautiful but not hardy here.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    I like all your plants even without a fragrance, so what a bonus that you can enjoy them on another level. I bought Agastache ‘Kudos Ambrosia’ this spring but am disappointed in its performance. I’ll check it to see if it’s reminiscent of licorice.

    • Chloris says:

      I looked up Kudos Ambrosia and it looks so pretty, what a pity that it was a disappointment. I haven’ t seen it here. I see there is also one called Kudos Mandarin which looks lovely.

  5. mattb325 says:

    I’m loving all of the liliums, especially L. lankongense…they are the epitome of the mid summer garden 🙂
    That agastache is such a lovely contrast against the phormium (both in colur & structure)

    • Chloris says:

      Lilies are a delight but they come at a price here in the UK. The dreaded lily beetle! Do you have it over there? I remember when they arrived here in Suffolk about 15 years ago and I thought what pretty red beetles. Now I hate the sight of them.

      • mattb325 says:

        I remember the lily beetle in my London garden munching everything lily-related (including fritalarias).
        Thankfully we don’t have the Japanese red lily beetle here (we have a native one but it only leaves the tiniest holes and isn’t a bother). I always feel guilty when I see how much trouble other gardeners go to in order to protect their plants….here the lilies are just set-and-forget plants

  6. Sam says:

    A wonderful selection. I’d not come across that scented clematis before. Love chocolate cosmos, both for scent and colour.

  7. homeslip says:

    For me scent in the garden is as important as colour. I have your usual suspects of lilies (regale still going), roses (new to me this year Lavender Lassie and dependable New Dawn), two Trachelospermum jasminoides (they seem to do well in my garden and I appreciate the winter cold keeping them tidy), lavender (I have it self-seeding freely in a gravel bed and I enjoy seeing what colour comes up), honeysuckle (the semi-evergreen Halliana and another neat unknown one with reddish bronze leaves scrambling through sarcoccoca), chocolate cosmos in a cream-glazed pot by the front door, scented pelargoniums (Attar of Roses, I mix the leaves with mint for tea, and a lemony one), hemerocallis ‘Hyperion’ just hanging on in the garden but still going strong at the allotment, Clematis Mrs Betty Corning just coming into faintly- scented flower through the philadelphus and finally a white jasmine that twines through Euonymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’ by the front door. I think that’s it but as usual you have given me plenty more to look up and think about adding – thank you Chloris.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you so much for your list of scented plants Sarah. It is great to meet a fellow scent enthusiast. I have Mrs. Betty Corning, but I have never noticed that she is fragrant. I am going out to sniff her now.

  8. Oh, what a great reminder of such wonderful scents. I think a will use your post as a tick list of plants to make sure I have in the garden (except the lilies – I get too despondent over the beetle damage).

    • Chloris says:

      Lily beetle! The bane of my life, along with Ground Elder. I pick them off every day from Spring onwards and squash them, ( bare hands I’ m afraid, I haven’ t the time to be squeamish.) But still, by July, I have several lilies without leaves. Not a good look. Funnily enough they don’ t seem to go so much for the big trumpet lilies.

  9. All lovely, but my absolute favourite has to be that little turks cap lily, beautiful!

  10. Chloris says:

    I got that lovely little lily from Plant Heritage this year. I do hope that it will be a stayer. I’ ve never grown it before.

  11. Flighty says:

    Despite my not having a good sense of smell these posts always seem to get my nose twitching. xx

  12. Christina says:

    I could almost smell your lovely lilies, just beautiful flowers and perfume – what could be more perfect! I missed mine while I was away so will have to wait until next year now. Are all your lilies attacked by the lily beetle? In the past I found the Regals were less affected but this year even they were covered. I would love to have some cuttings of Santolina chamaecyparissus Lemon Queen’ when I see you, sorry it is a cheek I know but it is so difficult to get any named cultivars here and I used to have this one and loved it.

  13. Chloris says:

    The trumpet lilies aren’ t quite as badly affected as the others. The Regale leaves were covered in them but I made sure to pick them off every day.
    Of course you can have some cuttings of the Santolina and whatever else you fancy. But please remind me or I forget what I have promised to whom.

  14. What a collection of lilies you have! I’m very intrigued by that Lilium lankongense – what an unusual color. ‘Golden Splendor’ is pretty nice also. My lilies are the most fragrant plants in my garden, but I too have some roses with scent. Also the Sweet Alyssum in pots continues to be wonderfully fragrant.

    • Chloris says:

      I am thrilled with Lilium lankongense, I just hop it will stay around.
      I remember you writing about Alyssum in pots and I copied your idea and I too have a couple of pots. The scent is lovely.

  15. Brian Skeys says:

    As usual Chloris you have a wonderful range of different and unusual plants in your garden. The joy of blogging is that you share them with us. Clotted Cream looks good……enough to eat!

  16. Kris P says:

    It must be wonderful to walk through your garden with all those delicious scents wafting in the breeze. I usually have to stick my nose directly into a flower to have any chance of catching a scent. It’s also remarkable to me to read that you have sweet peas going strong at this time of year – mine usually perish in the first heatwave (which this year occurred in March). The rule of thumb here is to plant seeds before Labor Day (early September) but I may plant them earlier still this year to ensure that I actually have an opportunity to enjoy them.

  17. Alain says:

    You have a wealth of scented plants. Here the Regale lilies are also over, but some Asiatics have not yet opened. As for roses, Astrid Lindgren is still beautiful. The strongest scent just now though is from Acidanthera bicolor murielae (now Gladiolus callianthus).

    • Chloris says:

      I have tried Acidenthera and the scent is wonderful. They never come back the following year with me. Do you have any success growing them on?

  18. Beautiful flowers with heady scents…as I weed I am noticing more scented foliage.

    • Chloris says:

      Scented foliage is great but I love the scent that stops you in your tracks like the Robert Season lily. Sniffing things is such a great part of our enjoyment of the garden.

  19. mrsdaffodil says:

    The lilium Lankongense is a real beauty and beautifully photographed.

  20. Debra says:

    Lilies and sweet peas. Even just seeing them makes my heart beat a little faster. I admit to some envy. I remember what they smelled like. I so wish I could grow them.

  21. Well, I did get there in the end, Chloris! I could use the excuse, that I have been stalling to enable me to include the tantalising buds that taunt me! Only true to some extent! What pleasures you have there! You’ve now added to wish list! Your lilies are lovely, especially Robert Swanson. I stopped growing them – couldn’t put up with the horrid lily beetle. How dare John say that about lavender! 😉 I can’t imagine any self respecting scented garden without it! I’m still waiting for my Chocolate cosmos and C. flammula to enter the display. The latter grows over an arch alongside Lonicera “Belgica”. What a combination they make! Here’s to August, Chloris!

    • Chloris says:

      On good, I am glad you have done a scented July post. I agree it is a good idea to do it later in the month. I am just off to look what you are enjoying.
      I agree lily beetle is a pest and disgusting to get rid of, sometimes they squeak too. But I can’ t be without lilies and Robert Season is amazing, it pumps out its scent a long way. The beetles have left it relatively unscathed.

  22. snowbird says:

    How heavenly your garden must smell! You do have some stunning plants… I especially loved the lilies, little Turk’s cap is ever so cute!
    I am a huge fan of lavender, that along with honeysuckle and buddleia are dominating scent wise at the moment.xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Yes these are the scents of late summer, although I am not too keen on the scent of Buddleia. Never mind the butterflies are mad on it, so it will always have a place in my garden. I have just been given a variegated one which is quite pretty.

  23. Chloris says:

    Yes, scented flowers are a great joy all year round but the scents of summer are very special.

  24. Peter/Outlaw says:

    You’ve many beautifully fragrant blooms (and plants.) The fragrances of all seasons have their charms but the summer fragrances are so rich and abundant.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Peter. Yes the fragrances of Summer are very special, specially as they become so much more intense in the evenings and as night falls. We have actually had some days warm enough recently to sit outside in the evening.

  25. Anna says:

    Some fabulous scented plants Chloris – some familiar and some unknown to me so will come back to this post again with a notebook. I’m like the look of Rosa ‘Summer Song’ – the colour of the flowers is most striking.Those lily beetles certainly have a lot to answer for. My lemon verbena which has overwintered quite happily in the greenhouse for several winters sadly did not return this year. I’m missing stroking the leaves.

  26. Chloris says:

    Thank you Anna, sorry, a late reply I missed this comment somehow. Summer Song is absolutely gorgeous.
    I will try and take some cuttings of the Aloysia, as we have to call it now. If I manage to root any, I will send you one.

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