Fragrances are a personal preference – so when it comes to creating a fragrant garden, its best to use your nose when shopping for your garden. Smell what you like, dislike and what fragrances appeal to you and enlighten a specific mood. Also think about what time of day you would like to enjoy the perfumes of your garden and what plants will work best in certain areas within your garden.

  1. Tips and tricks to creating a fragrant garden
    1. Avoid masking the natural perfumes of your garden

The flowers already established in your garden may have some perfumes that are masked by the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The use of these not only harm the environment, but detract from the natural aromas in your garden.

2. Choose the time you’ll be enjoying these aromas

Some plants release their fragrances late at night and some early morning, therefore it is important to. Decide what time of day you would like to be spending your time in the garden, perhaps after work evenings with a cup of tea? Or your morning coffee on the stoep? What fragrances would you liken whiff doing whatever you may be doing?

3. Use drip irrigation 

By watering from above, you are interfering with the natural nectar from your aromatic plants, masking their smells. By using drip irrigation from below instead, you can wet the soil at the roots and encourage the perfumes from your more fragrant flowers.

4. Balancing the smells

By filling your garden with too many fragrances, you could create a bit of a clash for your senses. It’s important to level and balance the aromatic plants in your garden by planting more fragrant flowers at nose level, or planting fragrant shrubs in high-traffic areas such as the driveway.

  1. Types of fragrances 

For your garden, pick the style of smell that you would like in your garden, be it fresh, floral, spicy or woody?


  • Fresh

These fragrances stimulate and refresh the mind. Choose lavender, mint and citrus.

  • Floral

These fragrances promote relaxation, so if this is your style choose plants such as jasmin, gardenias, or lilies.

  • Spicy

Spicy perfumes promote a slow and sensual peace of mind. To achieve this smell style, plant roses and carnations.

  • Woody

These aromas promote mental clarity and focus, so if this is what you want choose cedar or rosemary in your garden.

  1. Planting for the time of year

If you would like a fragrant garden throughout the year, choose plants that bloom alternating months of the year:

January – Jasmine, Freesias. 

February – Jasmine, Witch Hazel, Freesias. 

March – Hyacinthis.

April – Muscari, Hyacinthis. 

May – Lilies, Bearded Iris, Wisteria, Citrus, Azaleas. 

June – Sweet Peas, Fringetree, Roses. 

July – Petunias, Lavender, Heliotrope.

August – Gardenia, Freesia. 

September – Gardenia, Lilies, Abelias. 

October – Sweet Olive. 

November – Balsam Fir.

December – Balsam Fir. 

  1. Consider these fragrant indigenous blooms for your garden

Buddleja – this creeping sage has a lovely fragrance. 

Cape Chestnut – this fast-growing tree has aromatic pink blossoms as well as fragrant leaves. 

September bells – a small to medium tree that has clusters of aromatic blossoms. 

Buchu – these plants have that particular “fynbos” fragrance. 

Pelargoniums – this foliage has a wonderful citrus fresh fragrance. 

Wild Rosemary – this herb is the perfect fragrance to add to your favorite dishes. 

Wild Jasmin – this climber has a lovely fresh sweet perfume. 

When it comes to planning a fragrant garden, all you need to do is decide on a personal preference and the specific moods you would like these aromas to encourage – thus making your garden a personal haven.