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Home > Types of Gardening > Landscape Gardening > Fragrance to Landscape
Fragrance to Landscape Gardening
Fragrance to Landscape GardeningThere is a fourth dimension to any garden that may often be overlooked. This is the dimension of fragrance, and although its appreciation is not new, it seems to have been cast aside to make room for texture, form and color. Fragrance is subjective, and opinions of it diverse, but it is unquestionable that the garden planted with scented flowers offers the added bonus of fragrance in addition to form and color. It has been said that smell is the sense that is most memorable and that none of the other senses is more subtle in its suggestions or more reminiscent of a certain time.

The purpose of a flower`s fragrance is thought to be that of an attractant to nectar-feeding insects. Not all perfumes are found in the flowers, however. Scents may also be found in roots, bark, gum or oils, leaves, stalks and sometimes in the seeds. Generally, fragrant flowers are lightly colored or white. Although brilliantly colored flowers are not usually fragrant, there are exceptions. Flowers that are thick in texture, such as citrus, magnolia and gardenia, are often the most distinctive and intense in scent.

There may be a vast difference in the strength of the fragrance even among members of the same species. In addition, the degree of fragrance may vary with several conditions such as time of day, age of the flower, air temperature, and moisture level. The hours when the scent is strongest may even differ for the same plants. The scent depends on the essential oils which are present in varying amounts depending on these conditions. These oils evaporate at different speeds and different temperatures. Roses, for example, smell sweetest in mild, damp mornings when the sun hits them. They reach a peak at noon and by night they may no longer be fragrant. Conversely, the night-blooming flowers, such as night-blooming jessamine, reveal no scents during the day-light hours but are odoriferous at night. During twilight hours, these plants may be most appreciated when planted near a terrace or below a bedroom window. Still other plants send out fragrance both day and night, the scent varies during these different times of day.

Scent may also vary as the flower begins senescence. Drought and heat can rob the flowers of their sweetness. Gardens smell sweetest when the air is mild and moisture is high. During periods of extreme drought and heat, the fragrant ethers are much less and the decrease in scent is noticeable. Frost may release dormant fragrance, as does a rain shower.

GardeniaTo add fragrance to the garden, many types of plants may be used, including trees, shrubs, vines and perennials. The banana shrub, Japanese privet, fortune osmanthus, sweet osmanthus, gardenia, rose, confederate jasmine, and sweet viburnum do well in northern Florida. In central Florida night-blooming jessamine, citrus, gardenia, rose, sweet viburnum, confederate jasmine, butterfly bush, angel`s trumpet, Japanese privet and orange jasmine can be planted successfully. South Florida plants include frangipani, Arabian jasmine, lady of the night, gardenia, Japanese privet, crape jasmine, angel`s trumpet, orange jasmine, citrus, rose and sweet viburnum.

It is recommended that plants be purchased when in bloom so that their scent can be personally tested.
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