Scent in the Garden – June

"Alec's Red"

“Alec’s Red”

June. The start of the Rose season, so there’s no excuse for a lack of scent in any garden. Even if you do not (yet!) intentionally plant for scent, roses are represented in many gardens. Hopefully, if perfumed varieties were chosen, you are now at the start of a feast for both the eyes and the nose.

So I’m pleased to start this month’s selection with this blood-red beauty, “Alec’s Red”. This Hybrid Tea rose, (not my normal choice of Rose, I must confess) I bought last month, in memory of my dear Dad. Mind you, it should really be “Alex’s Rose” – with an X – but it’s close enough! And it’s opened beautifully today – just in time for Father’s Day!

My penchant, rose-wise, is for David Austin’s English roses. I love them! They have all the gorgeous old fashioned qualities that, to me, are so important in a rose – full, voluptuous blooms, and, of course, the most gorgeous rose scent. All pink and perfumed!

Clockwise from top R. - "Sharifa Asma", "Braveheart",  "The Crocus Rose", "Gertrude Jekyll"

Clockwise from top R. – “Sharifa Asma”, “Braveheart”, “The Crocus Rose”, “Gertrude Jekyll”

All these, apart from “Braveheart”, are English roses. And taking a nose full of Sharifa and Gertrude is pure Turkish Delight!

Roses are even joining in with their unscented bedfellows to provide a dramatic display in our hedge.


And I’m pleased to say, it’s not all about roses, despite their beauty. So back to my scented shrubs.

Just going over now is our Wisteria floribunda “Alba”.


Not quite the display it was last year I’m afraid, but its long, pure white racemes of flowers are still a joy!

Good old honeysuckle! Our native woodbine is anything but “common” – that perfume is totally exotic!


I’m so pleased with this simply magnificent display. In previous years, this first flush of flowers has been blighted by attack – by what, I’ve never worked out! The opening petals seemed to wither and drop. Nothing is visible. Thankfully, a second flush, later in the year is always unaffected, so leading me to think it’s a pest problem rather than a cultural one. But this year, the honeysuckle seems to be winning the battle!

And, while we’re on the topic of native, this dusky version of our Elder, is starting to show promise.


This is Sambucus nigra “Gerda”, planted last year. It has wonderful dark, near black foliage, looking good against its pink umbels of flowers. Scent? Just like Elderberries!

In the sunny front garden,


we have Elaeagnus “Quicksilver” flowering. Though the tiny yellow flowers are hard to spot, the perfume is not. The sweet heavy scent, pervades the front garden. Lovely, when getting out of the car!

Nestled alongside, low growing Prostanthera cuneata, or Australian Mint Bush, is also in flower, with pretty white flowers streaked with lilac.


It’s not the flowers, however, providing the scent. The leaves of this aromatic shrub give off a strong scent. Not of mint, to my nose, but maybe mint with a strong hint of thyme! Very aromatic!

Back to the back garden, and some flowers, not normally celebrated for their perfume, are smelling just as totally gorgeous as they look.

From top to bottom - "Quechee", "Jane Phillips", "Cable Car".

From top to bottom – “Quechee”, “Jane Phillips”, “Cable Car”.

Irises are revered in the garden for their strong structural leaves, and their magnificent, albeit fleeting, flowers in an amazing array of colours. But did you know that many are also scented? This collection all smell deliciously of chocolate-orange!

And how’s this for a “And finally”?


This tiny shrub in a metal bucket was bought last week, from the Gardeners World show. It’s a Kaffir lime, here displayed among other pots of aromatic herbs. It has the typical citrus flower perfume, although not nearly so strong, and the leaves can be used in cooking. That’s me AND Mr. Chef both happy with this one! It’s supposed to be fairly hardy down to 0, so, brought indoors over cold spells, we hope to keep it going. Fingers xd!

How’s your garden smelling?

And thanks to Wellywoman and Backlane Notebook, for coming up with the idea.

You should join us!

8 thoughts on “Scent in the Garden – June

  1. thebikinggardener

    Lots of lovely things there! The honeysuckle problem could be grey aphids – they often infest the buds and suck the life out of them – i am glad it is unaffected this year. Rosa glauca is one of my favourite shrubs – though the flowers don’t smell much it is such a versatile shrub.

  2. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Thank you! And thank you for the diagnosis! That could be it. I have sometimes spotted a tiny green grub at the base of the dropped petals, but not always, so maybe coincidence. Honeysuckles are supposed to be relatively pest free so my investigation on the subject was not successful.
    I agree about Rosa glauca. So much more subtle than its cousins, it has its own charm, with the delicate pink flowers against its blue foliage. A flower arrangement on its own!

  3. Angie

    Your garden must smell amazing right now. Your roses all look great.
    I’d have a lot more scent in the garden if we’d get a bit of heat. I am getting brief whiffs here and there but nowhere near as strong as some of them should. My Iris all appear to be scented too, another bonus. I was also going to suggest the aphids on the honeysuckle. They can be a problem on honeysuckle. Maybe the extended winter saw off the most of them with you.

  4. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Thank you! It does smell decidedly rosy just now, especially after the rain, when it warms up again! We just need the rain to hold off a bit longer for us to enjoy it properly!
    Let’s hope you’re right about the aphids, but the others elsewhere in the garden are just as bad! This one’s fighting back!
    Nice to know your irises are scented! Intentional? Or coincidence!

  5. Chloris

    I love David Austin roses too, you have some beauties. Eleagnus ‘ Quicksilver’ has such sweet smelling flowers too, what a good idea to plant it where you can smell it as you come and go.

  6. wellywoman

    Some gorgeous plants there. What a lovely reminder of your father too. Roses are such a good idea as they’ll bloom for Father’s Day. My dad and roses have never had a happy relationship though. If I planted a rose to remind me of him it would be with a wry smile. As a child I remember him constantly complaining about the roses (the thorns, the pests, etc) before he finally wore my mum down and they were all dug out. 😉 i never knew Irises had a scent, I love the sound of those. Just wondering if I have a spot where they would be happy. I know they need a sun-baked spot. Puts on thinking cap. 🙂 Thank you for joining in. It’s fab to discover new plants and scents.


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