Your Colorado Fragrance Garden Guide: Must-Have Plants helps guide you during the spring season. There’s nothing quite like walking outside in early spring and breathing in the smell of fresh flowers. Your fragrant garden will attract pollinators and make your yard more enjoyable to spend time in.
Many of the scented flowers will be in bloom from spring to fall depending on the variety. We collaborated with Heidrich’s Colorado Tree Farm to create this list of must-haves for your fragrance garden in Colorado.
Before you get started, Heidrich’s recommends this tip for planting your fragrance garden: “Place the garden in a location that you will get the most out of it and where you and your guests will walk past it or by a window that you will have open. Make sure to consider the amount of sun the locations gets as you will get better bloom production with full sun exposure. Be sure to place plants together by their water needs as well. This will ensure that one is not drowning or staying too dry in the area. Deadheading, by cutting off the old blooms, will ensure more bloom production as well.”
Colorado Fragrance Guide to the Greatest Smelling Plants for your Garden
Common purple lilacs are a staple item in your scented garden. With purple-blue flowers, these beautiful plants bloom in late May. Even though the flowers have a short bloom time (about 2 weeks in Colorado) they are hardy plants that are easy to grow and require low maintenance. These plants enjoy full sun and have a strong, sweet aroma.
Lilac flowers can come in a few different color varieties but the most commonly known is a deep purple. They do an excellent job at attracting much-needed pollinators.
Note: Lilacs come in a large variety of sizes and some can grow as tall as 20 feet, so make sure you have enough space for the variety you choose. A good smaller-sized lilac variety is the Miss Kim Lilac.
When it comes to roses, many of the varieties that grow in Colorado are not as fragrant. A great one that grows well here with a light scent is the Austrian Copper Rose shrub variety. These roses have red-orange outer petals and a yellow center. This fragrant flower smells like licorice.
Austrian Copper Roses enjoy full-sun and bloom in June and July.
Rosemary is a beautiful perennial herb with silver-grey foliage and purple-blue flowers.
This is a plant to enjoy from spring to fall that thrives in full sun. Rosemary plants can grow to be 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide. This herb makes a great addition to fragrance gardens as well as edible gardens. You can even use the flowers to make essential oils.
Wisteria is a beautiful climbing variety with flowers that can range from purple and blue, to white. Common varieties grown in Colorado are the Chinese Wisteria and the Texas Purple Wisteria.
These sweet-scented plants enjoy full sun. Wisteria is a climbing flower that looks great on pergolas and around garden borders. Heidrich’s recommends considering how large the plant will be once it is full-grown to give the plant enough room. Also, provide the vine with something to climb on. Whatever you choose, it needs to be sturdy enough to hold the weight and large enough to accommodate a growing plant. It will take several years before you will get blooms so be patient. They only bloom on the new wood. Wisteria prefers a protected location from the wind.
Hyacinths are must-have for your fragrance garden because they are deer resistant and attract butterflies These sweet-smelling flowers come in a number of different colors.
They enjoy full sun and bloom in spring growing 6 to 12 inches tall.
This beautiful summer to fall-blooming herb is a great addition to your fragrance garden. Lavender’s earthy, sweet fragrance is a commonly known scent. The flowers can range from purple-blue to pink and white.
Lavender is an excellent companion plant that wards off deer and attracts pollinators.
7. Sweet Alyssum
Alyssums add a lovely pop of color and a subtle, sweet scent to your fragrance garden. The regular alyssum varieties come in many shades from pink and yellow to pure white. Perennial alyssums are more golden in color.
Alyssums enjoy full sun to partial shade and bloom from spring to fall. These beautiful, tiny flowers attract pollinators to your garden.
Peonies are spring-blooming flowers that can grow 12 to 36 inches tall and wide. They enjoy full to partial sun.
These fragrant flowers have a crisp, soft aroma similar to that of a rose and can be pink, red, or white.
Interesting Fact: Peonies need ants to bloom. The ants crawling on the bud cause the flower to open up, so don’t worry if there are some ants on your peonies.
Another great deer resistant flower, Daffodils bloom in April and grow 10 to 12 inches tall. These fall-planted, spring-blooming bulbs enjoy full sun to partial shade.
Daffodils can add a pop of orange, red, yellow, and even red to your fragrance garden. They have a lovely aroma that smells like sweet vanilla.
The final must-have flower to add to fragrance gardens is the calendula. These bright flowers bloom from late spring to fall and enjoy full to partial sun.
They are yellow-orange in color and also attract pollinators. They have a sappy, earthy scent.
Interesting Fact: These flowers can also be used for medicinal purposes.
This aromatic herb blooms throughout the summer and its purple/blue flowers attract hummingbirds. This herb enjoys growing in full sun.
12. Currant Bush
Currants are incredible dual-purpose bushes that are edible and deer resistant. They have a sweet fragrance and bloom in the spring.
Pollinators love the currant bush, especially hummingbirds and bees. This plant produces edible fruit that can be made into tasty jams and jellies.
Trees for Your Fragrance Garden
13. Crabapple Tree
Crabapple trees are a lovely choice if you have some space in your garden. They bloom in spring with beautiful flowers that attract pollinators.
The trees produce edible, yet very tart fruit that is much smaller than the common apple but is great for jams and jellies.
14. Canada Red Chokecherry
These fragrant trees flower in the spring. Their unique foliage goes from green in spring to a deep maroon/purple in summer and fall.
The chokecherries can be made into a tart jam or jelly.
Include some or all of these aromatic flowers for a beautiful fragrance garden. Many of them double as excellent companion plants because they attract pollinators and ward off deer. Follow this guide so you can step out of your house and smell fresh flowers from spring to fall.