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1 Lily of the valley
Lily of the valley, or Convallaria majalis, was a popular plant in English gardens 400 years ago. Loved then as now for its dainty little flowers – like little bells with upturned edges – it was also an ingredient of love potions. Later it became the flower of choice for many a couple courting in springtime, a little spray of the scented flowers being irresistibly beautiful.
Lily of the valley is a native of the UK. A lover of shady, cool places, it needs a rich soil with lots of organic matter, so dig in lots of compost before planting. Try it on the shady side of rhododendrons or allow it to snuggle up to a mossy, rotting stump. It’s perfect with primroses, violets and other little treasures of the springtime garden.
Hyacinths are cold-winter-loving, spring-flowering bulbs, admired for their beauty and sweet fragrance. The flowers are florist shop favourites, and when placed in a vase in the kitchen the uplifting scent fills the room. If planted in containers, hyacinths can be brought indoors when required, or positioned on a deck or beside a front door, to be enjoyed as you come and go.
It’s too late to plant dormant hyacinth bulbs now, but they’re available in flower as potted plants in spring. In the garden they need a rich soil and sunshine.
3 Viburnum burkwoodii
Viburnum burkwoodii has pretty, cream coloured, round flower heads on the tips of slender branches over many weeks in spring. It’s one of those shrubs you can’t miss – even if you’re looking the other way it beckons with a beguiling scent that it’s hard to stop inhaling. The flowers are a joy for picking and bringing indoors for the vase.
This cold hardy, deciduous shrub is easy to grow, and enjoys full sun and good soil. If it becomes too large for its allotted space it can easily be given a light trim to keep it in bounds. A must-have for a shrub border where fragrance predominates – plant with Michelia yunnanensis and Boronia megastigma.
4 Dianthus ‘Mrs Sinkins’
Dianthus ‘Mrs Sinkins’ has long been famous for the powerful, clove-scented, lace-white flowers that cover the low-growing, grey-foliage plant in spring. It loves a sunny spot and a well-drained soil with a bit of lime, and thrives on the edge of gravel paths or beside cobblestone paths..
This remarkable little plant has enjoyed fame for well over 100 years, ever since it was exhibited at a Royal Horticultural Society show in 1880. Unlike many favourite fragrant flowers, it doesn’t have a romantic story attached to its beginnings, having been raised by the master of a workhouse for the poor in the English town of Slough, and named for his wife.
5 Michelia yunnanensis
Michelia yunnanensis is a handsome shrub at any time of year with its dark green, shiny foliage and compact habit of growth. It’s beautiful in spring, when snow-white flowers smother the bush and creating a look like a small, beautifully formed magnolia. Not only does it look great, it also possesses a powerful and delicious fragrance.
Try planting it near white winter Daphne for an ongoing fragrance from winter through into spring. Michelia yunnanensis responds well to clipping and makes arguably the best of all fragrant flowering hedges. Similarly, it can be kept as a compact shrub in small gardens with regular pruning. A good soil is needed, as is sun for most of the day. Cold hardy and disease resistant.
– NZ Gardener
Continue reading this article at the original source from Stuff.co.nz
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