Summer: the time for cook outs, garden parties, and soaking up the sun! We only have a few weeks left until it hits, and when it does everyone will be spending more time outdoors. Many flowers will be in bloom, some of which are very fragrant and will attract a variety of visitors to your yard! It can be hard to decide which particular flower you want, but here is a compilation of fragrant, beautiful flowers that do well in our area!
First on our list is the butterfly bush! This gorgeous shrub blooms from summer to autumn, offering a view of long, panicle-shaped clusters of blossoms. Butterfly Bushes have a tendency to attract butterflies and hummingbird due to their fragrant nature, so it is a great natural option for people who enjoy setting up feeders for them. The best part is that this plant does well in full sun with partial shade, so you should be able to have one just about anywhere in your yard! Just remember to make sure that the soil the bush is planted in is moist with good drainage. These plants vary in height depending on the variety, and a wide variety of colors are available including white, yellow, pink, and lavender.
If you are interested in a larger butterfly bush, the Black Knight, pictured in the upper right, grows to be between six and ten feet tall, with dark purple blossoms that border on being black. The Blue Chip, pictured to the left, is one of the newer cultivars that is much lower growing, reaching two to three feet in height. Another excellent choice is the Purple Haze Butterfly Bush, pictured to the right, which offers beautiful, bright purple flower panicles. This butterfly bush has a low, arching growth habit and will only reach about three feet in height.
Another beautiful plant selection are gardenias! These heat-loving evergreens bloom from mid spring to summer and showcase fragrant white flowers. Gardenias are wonderful for our area and will grow well in partial shade to full sun. Gardenias require soil that has good drainage, as they will not tolerate wet feet. They vary in height from a foot and a half to eight feet, depending on the variety.
Gardenias come in a variety of flower shapes, each one unique and beautiful. The August Beauty, pictured in the upper left, is a romantic choice for any garden, as is the Chuck Hayes, pictured to the left. There are also several improved cultivars, such as the Frostproof Gardenia which is pictured to the right.
One of the most popular fragrant flowers are roses! There is a wide variety of species, shapes, and colors available, so you will have plenty of options to choose from if you decide to go with this beautiful plant. Doing well in full sun to partial shade, roses can be placed in many areas including rose gardens, border plantings, and as an addition to perennial gardens. Depending on the species, roses will bloom anywhere from spring to fall, so a rose garden with a variety of species could give you a lingering fragrance for many months! Roses prefer well-drained soil, performing well in raised beds.
The Blue Moon Hybrid Tea Rose, pictured to the left, has the traditional shape that many people associate with roses and has a beautiful and fragrant, lavender-pink flower. For individuals looking for a lower and mounding growth habit, with much lower maintenance, they should try the Sunny Knock Out, pictured to the right. This rose is ranges from pale to sunny yellow with a sweet rose fragrance.
Our next selection is, quite possibly, the most well-known tree in the south: the Southern Magnolia! This beautiful tree is often chosen for the fragrance of the very large white flowers. The flowers have a light, almost lemon scent. This evergreen tree has a beautiful oval shape and stately presence in the landscape. Southern Magnolias perform well in full sun to partial shade. The traditional Souther Magnolia can easily reach heights of fifty feet, yet there are many beautiful cultivars that are much smaller in size.
The Summersweet, also known as a “pepper bush”, is another fragrant choice, offering a spicy aroma. This deciduous shrub flowers from July until August and can be used as a low hedge, a border plant, or a companion plant to perennials, depending on the species. During the summer, the flowers and fragrance attracts bees and butterflies, while birds are attracted to it during autumn. Growing to a height between three to eight feet tall at maturity, this plant thrives in full sun to partial shade.
There are several varieties of Summersweet to choose from, including the Hummingbird Summersweet, pictured to the right, which has beautiful, small, white blooms. If you are looking for a color that pops, try the Ruby Spice Summersweet, pictured in the upper left, with its deep pink blooms.
Another well-known plant with a fragrant aroma is the Sweet Shrub, which may be more commonly known as Carolina Allspice to people in our area. A deciduous shrub, the Sweet Shrub ranges in color from reddish-pinks to maroons, yellow, orange, and even white. Flowering between spring and early summer, this beautiful plant drops fruit in the summer and the foliage turns a gorgeous yellow in autumn. It prefers full sun to partial shade and grows well as a border, specimen, or foundation plant, reaching a height between six and nine feet tall. A benefit of this plant is that it can be used to make potpourri, allowing the fragrant aroma to be both inside and outside of your home.
The flowers on sweet shrubs may differ in color, but they all have a unique appearance, different than those of most other flowers on our list. If you are a fan of red flowers, try the Eastern Sweet Shrub, pictured in the upper left. The Eastern Sweet Shrub is one of the more popular sweet shrubs that people plant in their yards. If you want a lighter choice, take a look at the Athens Sweet Shrub, pictured to the right, which has unusual colored petals: yellow-green tipped in a pale pink.
There are, of course, many other fragrant plants available that do well in our region–these are just a popular few! No matter which plant you choose to go with, it is sure to add an element of relaxation as you spend time outdoors during the summer months!