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Best Plants for Spring + Summer Fragrance

Bloomerang® Lilac

Purple flowers of a dwarf lilac shrub.
Image by Designosaurus courtesy iStock.

There is a lot to love about April and May, especially if you have a garden. On the top of my list is the irresistible scent of the lilac. If you adore it as much as I do, do yourself a favor and plant some Bloomerang® lilacs, which bloom first during the traditional April-May lilac season and then continue to flower periodically into the fall. Bloomerang® comes in purple or pink and is a dwarf shrub, so they are perfect for container gardens.

Akebia Vine

Maroon flowering akebia vine with fragrant blooms.
Image by kongxinzhu courtesy iStock.

Fast-growing, fragrant blooms and tolerant of part-shade? Sign me up! Each April, akebia produces charming clusters of flowers in shades of maroon, purple, or white with delicious edible fruits to follow in the summer. Also know as chocolate vine because of it's cocoa-like scent, its perfect for training up a pergola, stair railing, or trellis and works well for screening because of it's dense foliage.

Koreanspice Viburnum

Fragrant blooms of viburnum carlesii (Koreanspice viburnum).
Image by Maycal courtesy iStock.

Koreanspice viburnum (viburnum carlesii), which blooms between March and April depending on the region, emits one of the most gorgeous scents of spring. This slow-growing shrub has pompom-shaped clusters of pink-edged white flowers and performs well in sun to part-shade conditions. It's ideal in a mixed border near a pathway or patio where someone stopping to smell the flowers will be richly rewarded.


Pink peony flowers in bloom.
Image by yumehana courtesy iStock.

In my opinion, the peony is the queen of springtime and the best cut flower for arrangements. Bold, blousy blooms bring sweet perfume to the garden each May in colors ranging from deep red to vibrant salmon to crisp white. Plant these sun-loving shrubs in a well-draining soil and be sure to provide good airflow to prevent mildew and other fungal issues, then sit back and enjoy for many years to come — some peony plants have been known to live for more than 100 years!


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