16 Mar

7 Delightful and Fragrant Flowers to Grow in Your Garden

1. Garden Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

Valeriana officinalis is an evergreen, perennial shrub that grows up to 1.5 meters and produces flowers of pink, white or lavender flowers in summer. Commonly known as Garden Valerian, this lovely bloomer produces strongly fragrant white flowers so much so that a single flower head is sufficient to flower the whole yard. It is an easy to grow plant and thrives in almost any soil type, and prefers bright sunlight and moderate watering. (Zone 4a – 9b)

Valeriana Officinalis, Garden Valerian

Valeriana Officinalis, Image by Willie Angus

2. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Perovskia atriplicifolia or Russian Sage, is a herbaceous perennial plant from central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Normally growing as upright plant, Russian Sage grows up to 1.5 m and produces aromatic leaves that smell like lavender when brushed or crushed. Russian Sage is a good plant for landscapes as well as small gardens where it grows as drought, salt and cold tolerant plant. (Zone 5a – 9b)

3. Petunia Spp.

Petunia is easy to grow and low maintenance plant. Known for a large variety of colorful and fragrant flowers, Petunia can grow in many different conditions and a variety of places including hanging baskets, flower beds, and window boxes. Traditional white and purple varieties are best known for their fragrance. (Zone 8a – 11)

4. Woodland Tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris)

Nicotiana sylvestris is a night blooming plant from the family of tobacco plant. The plant produces sprays of lovely white flowers that appear in summer and early autumn. Flowers open by day and emit intoxicating smell at night.  When in full flower, each head is quite startling and resembles a graceful explosion. Commonly known as Woodland Tobacco, Nicotiana sylvestris grows as self-seeding plant, prefers well-drained but slightly moist soil under full to partial sun. (Zone 10a – 11)

5. Stock (Matthiola incana)

Widely grown and known for its sweet fragrant flowers, Matthiola incana is a good choice for flower beds, borders and window gardens. It is quite easy to grow and start flowering within two months of germination. Commonly known as Stock, Matthiola incana makes a good cut flower for bouquets for its showy and fragrant flowers. Matthiola prefers bright sun with moist but well-drained soil. It can be propagated easily from seeds sown in spring for good summer flowering. (Zone 7a – 10)

Matthiola Incana/ Stock

Matthiola Incana, Image by douneika (flickr)

6. Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)

Widely known as Night Blooming Jasmine, Cestrum nocturnum is a flowering shrub of tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is also known as Lady of the Night or Queen of the Night for its intoxicating fragrance that spreads all around in hot summer nights. The plant produces small and white flowers by the beginning and the end of summer. (Zone 8b – 11)

7. Pelargonium

Pelargoniums are easy to grow bloomers that offer a large variety of colors and fragrances. They can grow in almost any soil type and require a light loamy soil under bright sunlight. Most varieties of Pelargoniums emit nice citrus or fruity scents. Some of these species are grown commercially for the production of perfumes and some are used as flavoring agents in desserts and teas. (Zone 9a – 11)

Pelargonium Flowers

Pelargonium Flowers

I could not resist adding Rangoon Creeper to this list. It is my ‘favorite forever’. Quisqualis indica or Rangoon Creeper is a prolific bloomer and a fast growing vine. When in bloom, it is loaded with large tufts of white, pink and bright red flowers that spread intoxicating fragrance and attract bees and butterflies.

23 May

Night Blooming Jasmine: Cestrum Nocturnum

Cestrum Nocturnum, commonly known as Night Blooming Jasmine, is a flowering shrub of tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is also a must have in every gardener’s collection of the Indian sub-continent where it is called Raat ki Raani (Lady of the Night/Queen of the Night). Grown for its intoxicating fragrance, the Night Blooming Jasmine makes an excellent shrub for gardens.

Night Blooming Jasmine, Cestrum Nocturnum

Cestrum Nocturnum / Night Blooming Jasmine , Image © H. G. Mukhopadhyay

Cestrum Nocturnum bears small and white flowers by the beginning and the end of summer. Flowers bloom in hot and humid nights and emit smell that is unique and different from other flowering plants. Smell of Night Blooming Jasmine is sensual, enticing and quite exhilarating. It fills the passer by with delicate and intoxicating feelings. This plant is natively Caribbean and it is also known as Dama De Noche in Spanish.

How to Grow Night Blooming Jasmine

Night Blooming Jasmine is normally grown in subtropical regions as an fragrant plant for its strongly scented aroma. The ideal soil for this plant is clammy and sandy with humid climate. The plant spreads itself when it grows and can obtain the height of twelve feet, but does not spread more than four feet. The plant’s stems are like creepers, with bigger leave approximately between four and eight inches in length The flowers of Night Blooming Jasmine are relatively smaller colouring white or green in color and blossom off the creepers. There are also some verities found with yellowish flowers. Cestrum nocturnum is a fast growing shrub in the suitable conditions.

The stronger understanding about Cestrum Nocturnum is that normally it smells in the night. Although the smell could be stronger in the nights due to the full blossoming of the flowers but it also smells during the day in the season. Night Blooming Jasmine works fabulously as a mixed border additive. It is also fascinating when used as a freestanding plant. Cestrum nocturnum also possess luscious attraction for butterflies  and some types of caterpillars that consume its leaves as a source of food.

Night Blooming Jasmine is reported to cause respiratory problems from the scent, and feverish symptoms following ingestion to the people who are respiratory sensitive or are asthmatic.