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5495 Canotek Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K1J 1H4



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Scented Gardens

When planning a garden, most gardeners immediately focus on the visual aspects of the plants they are choosing without taking scent into consideration.  Smell is one of our most powerful senses and should not be overlooked, as it has a direct link to how we feel and can immediately trigger our favourite memories.  While visual aesthetics play a very important role in the enjoyment of our gardens, so too should fragrance. 

A fragrant garden can provide many meaningful benefits to enhance the enjoyment of the time spent in our garden.  Fragrance can provide immediate gratification and offer therapeutic benefits to help improve our overall health and spirit.  But why stop there!  Why not cut some of these wonderfully scented flowers and bring them inside so we can continue to enjoy them indoors as well?

 When designing your garden, consider including the following perennials and shrubs so that you can experience the fragrant benefits within your space.  If you are not working with our landscape designers, be sure to place these plants where you intend to spend most of your time, whether it be near your patio or along a well travelled path, so that you can get the most enjoyment from them.

English Lavender
(Lavandula angustifolia).  It’s no wonder that this perennial is the first one to come to mind. The scent of lavender is said to provide many therapeutic benefits and healing properties, the use of which can be traced back to ancient times. The restorative properties of this fragrance is said to be simultaneously calming, rejuvenating and invigorating.  It is believed to aid in relieving stress, anxiety, insomnia, and even headaches.  The little flowers can be dried and kept for aromatherapy or cooking.

(Clethra alnifolia). On top of having great yellow fall foliage, this shrub has gorgeous bottle brush like flowers that, like its name, give off a wonderfully strong sweet scent.  The power of it will have you breathing in deeply over and over again!  Depending on your choice of cultivar, such as ‘Ruby Spice’ or ‘Hummingbird’, these flowers are available in either pink or white and have the added benefit of attracting butterflies.

Purple-Leaf Bugbane
(Cimicifuga ramosa ‘Brunette’).  This striking plant has fabulous purple foliage with long spikes of pale pinkish- white fragrant flowers. Enjoy these flowers in the early days of fall.

‘Ruby Stella’ Daylily

(Hemerocallis ‘Ruby Stella’). Not all daylilies are known for being fragrant, but this cultivar has a nice scent that complements the perennials ruby red blooms that perform from early spring to midsummer.

Climbing Honeysuckle Vine
(Lonicera). Enjoy the perfume of honeysuckle and the pretty trumpet like flowers without having to sacrifice valuable space in your garden to accommodate the shrub version.  Fragrant cultivars include ‘Mandarin’ (L. ‘Mandarin’)and ‘Goldflame’(L. x heckrotti ‘Goldflame’).

(Convallaria majalis) The delicate little white flowers on this perennial groundcover deliver its unique fragrance without fail.  The scent of these little gems is even hailed as having therapeutic properties that aid in relieving depression and help to induce a sense of security, happiness, modesty and gentleness.  A tall order for such a little plant!

Mother of Thyme
(Thymus serpyllum).   Plant this little groundcover in between the stepping stones of your path.  This tough little perennial will release its delicate scent with each step you take.


(Syringa) This list would not be complete without lilacs. Some may fear these shrubs are old fashioned but there is a reason why your grandmother had them in her garden!  On top of providing us with visual splendour, these showy flowers bless us with an intoxicating fragrance.  Bring them inside too, as nothing looks and smells as wonderful as a vase filled with these cut beauties on your bedside table.  With the dwarf varieties available, there is no reason why your garden has to do without a lilac.  

These are just a few of the wonderfully scented plants that we offer at our Nursery Direct at Rockcliffe Landscaping.  On top of looking beautiful, these gems offer the extra gift of fragrance and aid in rejuvenating the mind and body.  One of the main reasons why we have gardens is to have a place we can go to relax, unwind and recharge, so why not include some (or all of them!) in your garden so that you too can benefit fully from your surroundings.  If you are unsure as to how to incorporate these jewels in your garden, consider retaining the expertise of a landscape designer to ensure that you don’t miss out on enjoying the full pleasure a garden can offer.


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