Scent in the Garden – April


What a difference a month makes! Gone (or almost gone) are the winter flowering shrubs of last month. However, our Coronilla “Citrina” is determined to prove me wrong, by defying the seasons and to continue flowering. It has been, since last autumn.

But, however valuable the long flowering shrubs are, it is nice to move on.

We inherited several shrubs when we first moved in, including two cherries of unknown variety. They were to provide a backdrop to our scented shrub border and so it’s nice to realise that, when in bloom, they have a very delicate scent. And, as you can see above, they can be stunning against a blue sky!

Elsewhere in the garden, there is so much scent to share with you. But where do I start? Ok the scented shrub border itself.


I love watching these Viburnum flowers develop! This is Viburnum carlesii “Aurora”. The buds start off looking like clusters of tiny rubies, before they open into domes of pinkish white flowers, that have the clove perfume similar to pinks. They have the added bonus of autumn coloured leaves, too.


Our Daphne tangutica has just started flowering. This evergreen shrub starts flowering now, with tiny white flowers, opening from purple buds. It has a strong perfume, with a heady scent so similar to Jasmine. And it does repeat flower, over the summer. For me it flowers again in June. And so more pleasure!


Osmanthus delavayii is a wonderful shrub! It has small, dark green, evergreen leaves, that are well suited to hard clipping, making it a good subject for hedging. It has tiny white flowers, that smother the plant and has such a strong perfume that will follow you round the garden – well, a bit of the way, anyway!


Skimmia japonica “Rubella” is regarded as a stalwart of the Winter garden, by virtue of its ruby red buds. But it’s now, in April, that these buds open to produce cones of sweetly scented flowers. This variety is male – you need to have both male and female to produce its lovely red winter berries. Here we grow the female “Red Princess” to this end, although its flowers are not so impressive.


The scent doesn’t end here. I recently planted Clematis armandii “Apple Blossom” to cover the pergola over the dining area. It was in bud then, but now it’s flowered for the first time and what a perfume! Strong, sweet and almondy. It has long, evergreen, leathery leaves which should grow to partially cover the area.


In the Woodland Garden, our unknown Pieris is looking amazing now, with its large clusters of little white Chinese lanterns. I had heard rumours of Pieris being scented but hadn’t noticed any perfume. At least, that was until I decided to cut a sprig for an Easter arrangement, and then I noticed its delicate perfume.


Even the Allotment is playing its part.


Admittedly, the edging of herbs will be scented continually, but I felt that the aromatic Rosemary bush, decked out in its blue flowers, was worthy of showing here.

And at the entrance to the Allotment, we have a beautiful Akebia quinata scrambling over one side of an arch.


Its tiny chocolate flowers are just starting to open, from their attractive buds, that look like little bunches of grapes. They look like chocolate, and they smell like chocolate! Can you get any better than that? 🙂


Love it or hate it, the smell of Box is another one available all year round. Here, it also has the fresh lime green flush of its flowers and new leaves.

I must finish with a much overlooked scent in the garden, that of newly cut grass. A fellow blogger (Thank you, Biking Gardener!) commented on my last post about the smell of a freshly cut lawn, and that got me thinking. It’s definitely worth including in the Scent in the Garden meme!


Thank you to Louise at Welly Woman and Sue at Backlane Notebook for hosting this meme.

How’s your garden smelling?


15 thoughts on “Scent in the Garden – April

  1. Chloris

    Whenever I come across a scented plant I think of you Ali. Scent is such an important element in the garden I wish we could get more people to join in with this meme. Our gardens give so much more pleasure if they are filled with fragrance. Coronilla is amazing, it has been in bloom for months and months. I took your advice and kept mine outside this Winter.

  2. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Thank you, Chloris, that’s really nice! I can’t imagine a garden without scent – there would be something missing! I hope your Coronilla did ok outside – it certainly sounds like it, if it’s still flowering. It must be at least 6 months mines been flowering!

  3. Annette

    lovely selection of scented shrubs, Ali – I like Coronilla, perhaps I should give it a try, seeing it flowers for such a long time. On top of Akebia quinata, I treated myself to A. pentaphylla this spring, stunning flowers. I also enjoy scent and the air is filled with lilac at present.

  4. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Thank you, Annette! Nice to know you are also a lover of scent in the garden. It’s what makes the planting complete. Coronilla has to be the most amazing, long flowering shrub – you should give it a go, in a sheltered, sunny spot. I’m looking forward to the lilacs flowering here. It has to be one my favourite perfumes in the garden. It takes me back to my childhood!

  5. mattb325

    I love scented gardens, and it’s not always flowers – last winter I purchased a little bare-rooted cercidiphyllum japonicum seedling and now that it’s autumn it’s fallen leaves really do smell like a caramel-peanut butter mix which gets more pronounced as the tree ages…it’s just wonderful 🙂

  6. thelonggardenpath Post author

    I couldn’t resist that one either! I had to have one for that very reason. The perfume so far though, has been very transient. I hope, as it grows, it will be more apparent.

  7. wellywoman

    Some fabulous scented plants there. I’ve seen osmanthus mentioned a few times – I’m wondering if I can find a spot for it. The smell of cut grass is something I love even though we don’t have any lawn of our own and I suffer from hay fever. At least at this time of year I can appreciate the smell without it setting off an allergic reaction – my hay fever doesn’t tend to kick in until late May. Thanks for taking part Ali. 🙂

  8. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Poor you! Osmanthus has such a strong, Jasmine-like perfume. It tolerates clipping well, so should be easy to keep within bounds. Its perfume accompanied me all day, while working on the borders.

  9. thelonggardenpath Post author

    The buds are deep pink, opening to pink flowers, which then fade to white. Maybe it’s pinker than what I intended but who cares, with a perfume like that! The Daphne flowers, burst from dark purple buds, making a beautiful combination in the flower cluster – all that and a perfume like Jasmine!

  10. casa mariposa

    I stuff my garden with as many scented plants as possible. My sweet box is just about done and a few of my daffodils were also fragrant, which came as a nice surprise. I wish my sweet peas would hurry up and bloom but the smell of rich, moist earth is the scent du jour. My viburnum’s don’t have any scent but I wish I had a spot for that clematis! Yours is a beauty. :o)

  11. thelonggardenpath Post author

    I have several different varieties of sweet box dotted around the garden. They are so easy to squeeze in, there’s always room for one more. Are you sure you can’t squeeze in the clematis? The beauty of climbers is that they take up so little ground space! And yes, some enjoyable scents dont always come directly from plants.


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