The Perfumed Garden Plant List

By Burford Hurry An alphabetical look at a few of my favourite shrubs and creepers that I feel should form part of essential planting for pe...

By Burford Hurry

An alphabetical look at a few of my favourite shrubs and creepers that I feel should form part of essential planting for perfume in our Mediterranean gardens.


Abelia X grandiflora This a sweetly scented summer flowering shrub – drought resistant – and greatly loved by bees – hence abelia. Its small-leaved shiny foliage is very attractive and it produces small white flowers for many months.

Brugmansia arborea [Angel's trumpets] This a shrub that can grow quite large and flowers from early spring to late summer. The perfume is extremely heavy and exotic especially at night – probably best suited to a large garden.

Buddlejas This family of shrubs (often referred to as butterfly bushes) are large shrubs and are very sweetly scented. Buddleja salvifolia - the South African variety has a delicious perfume in February/March. All buddlejas need to be cut back after flowering otherwise they become quite woody.

Capparis spinosa [The caper bush] This small shrub with its delicate pale cream flowers clings to old walls and takes full sun. It flowers profusely in the early to late spring and has an interesting spicy perfume.

Carissa macrocarpa An attractive thorny shrub with white heavily scented blossoms and edible fruit, drought resistant. Flowers for months in the year.

Citrus species & varieties Our friends the orange, lemon and lime need no introduction and if planted in the garden will do their best to illuminate and perfume it. Lemons in particular are known for sometimes having fruit and flowers all year round.

Citharexylum quadrangulare [ Mexican fiddlewood ] This is a small tree which has racemes of rather insignificant but sweetly scented flowers and attractive,glossy leaves in winter which then turn lovely autumn colours in the spring. Flowers for months in the year.

Crinum powellii A lily-like flower with a strong perfume, takes full sun but likes a fair amount of water. [summer flowering] Some find these plants do particularly well under carob trees in the good soil to be found there.

Eleagnus X ebbingei One of my favourite hardy shrubs. Attractive tough silvery-grey foliage and very strong, carnation-like scent from small white flowers for weeks in late summer.

Gardenia spatulifolia. I grow this in my garden - flowers for about four weeks and has a very strong perfume and unusual way of growing. It's fine with the barrocal soils that we have.

Jasminium officinale A sprawling, sometimes untidy. creeping shrub which flowers for most of the year. No garden should be without it.

Lonicera japonica 'Halliana' The common honeysuckle which has a wonderful scent and which flowers for quite a few months – could be used a climber but also trained to cascade down walls and slopes.

Mandevilla laxa [Chilean jasmine] A creeper that flowers profusely for a fairly long period in the middle of summer and has a very strong perfume.

Melia azedarach, Persian Lilac, has bunches of small and sweetly fragrant, purple or lilac flowers with deeper purple centres. The fragrance is particularly noticeable at night. A deciduous timber tree, it was known to the Arabs as early as 1080 and is now widely naturalised in mediterranean climate zones around the world.

Pittosporum tobira A small tree with strong shiny leaves and sweetly scented bunches of flowers in the late spring which last for a couple of weeks. Makes a lovely hedge.

Wisteria sinensis Well known purple creeper that blooms for a short period in the late spring.

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Plant Information 8820342280551210004

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