Magical garden fragrance of Stars, Lemons … and Cola (!?)

Trachelospermum Pink Showers

Summer offers an abundance of plants that have exquisite fragrance. Two of the loveliest plants we have are Trachelospermums and Pelargoniums, with a variety of fragrances to choose from.

Trachelospermum Pink Showers

Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is an evergreen, climbing plant that is a firm favourite with us for its highly fragrant summer flowers and glossy dark-green leaves that turn red in the winter. Star Jasmine will grow up to 10m (30ft) tall but can be easily pruned back. Trim back immediately after flowering to ensure you don’t cut off next year’s flower buds.

Traditionally, Star Jasmine has a white flower but new varieties such as ‘Pink Showers’ and ‘Star of Toscana’ have been introduced that further increase its appeal; the colours of both varieties increase in intensity as the flower ages. The variegated variety, Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Variegata’ has glossy-green leaves with creamy-white margins and the best winter colour.

Grow Trachelospermum in a sheltered spot on a south or west facing wall or up a pergola in full sun or partial shade and you will be rewarded with masses of star-shaped flowers in summer and a garden full of scent.

Pelargonium Cola

We also have a selection of scented Pelargoniums, popularly known as Geraniums. These can fill up spaces among low-growing bedding plants such as Begonias, Calibrachoas and Bacopas. The Odorata varieties offer delicious fragrance of Apple, Lemon, Orange and Cola!

As you brush past them, they will waft their aromas gently upwards from the warm ground. You can keep them together and make a floral fruit cocktail by your window!

These plants will grow happily both in pots and in the garden, requiring less water than other bedding plants. They can be overwintered indoors, ideally somewhere dry, sunny and frost-free, like a windowsill or conservatory.

Both these plants are low maintenance and will provide you with addictive fragrance all summer.

Roger Eavis