GARDENING: Perfume your garden all year round
GARDENS can provide so much enjoyment, floral displays, that patch of green during the dry times and even that sweet fragrance that drifts across the garden.
No matter what season there is always an array of perfumed flowering plants in bloom.
Attractive fragrances can add a whole new dimension to any garden, so it is well worth considering some scented plants when you are creating your next garden.
Even at twilight there are many plants that still provide a feature to a garden.
The storms of this last week have made such an impact to our gardens.
And it is not just the greening of our gardens. It is also the fact that we have had enough rain to trigger a drift of aromas from many of the gardens in the town.
With the first rain in some time the Murrayas across this region are now bursting into their perfumed flowers.
The Murraya paniculata or Orange Jessamine is a beautifully scented long flowering evergreen shrub which produces clusters of sweetly scented white flowers mainly in spring and summer. In warmer climates large red berries appear in winter and spring.
Murraya makes a good informal hedge.
Allamanda williamsonii or Scented Double Allamanda is an excellent climber with clusters of fragrant double yellow flowers from December to late January.
This Allamanda will need support and pruning after flowering.
Brunfelsia pauciflora or Giant Brunfelsia is a hardy shrub to 2m high with dull dark-green leathery leaves.
Brunfelsia pauciflora is dramatic in bloom with abundant large fragrant flowers but less perfumed form of the old-fashioned shrub.
The 50cm sized flowers are purple flowers fading to mauve then white.
Gardenia magnifica has been in cultivation in Australia for nearly one hundred years, and yet is still regarded as one of the best shrubs commercially available.
I know within our own landscaping projects, we have always found this shrub to perform under a variety of conditions, from quite protected to be being reasonably exposed, as well as in positions of varying light condition.
Several years ago, in one particular project, we planted nearly one hundred plants, and found nearly all of them came into full bloom before the year was out.
Neofrabicia myrtifolia or Yellow Flowering Tea Tree would be one of the most under-utilised perfumed flowering shrubs available to local gardeners. This shrub has large scented yellow flowers mingled with copper-coloured new growth, this plant can create a highlight in the garden? You could expect this shrub to grow up to 4m high and 2m across, but it is more likely to on reach half this size.
Plumeria obtusa, or Evergreen Frangipani would be one of the toughest of all perfumed plants in the garden.
As the common name suggests this Frangipani retains the majority of its foliage throughout the year.
It has glossy, rigid, dark green leaves that make it recognisable from all other frangipani varieties.
The flowers are pure white and highly fragrant.
I have been told by an Singaporean soldiers that was training in Rockhampton that this plant is also known as the Singapore Frangipani.
Pseudocalymma alliaceum or the Garlic Creeper will add to the garden fragrance will just a gentle breeze the brushing of the leaves will emits whiffs of garlic scent.
This evergreen fast growing creeper that is very hardy in most protected locations.
The flowers of this creeper start out as a deep lavender colour with a white throat.
As the flowers start to fade the colours change from the deep lavender to an even paler lavender eventually fading to almost white.
One other interesting fact about this plant is that in Southeast Asia the Garlic Creeper is grown in pots to help get rid of bad luck.
Randia fitzalani or Native Gardenia is a dense, large shrub, with large, dark green, glossy leaves, which will grow in either sunny or shaded moist positions.
Strongly perfumed, open-petalled, white flowers appear in summer, followed by large, edible yellow fruits in winter.
It is found naturally from Rockhampton to Cape York, and is also known as the yellow mangosteen.
Rondeletia amoena is a hardy evergreen shrub with glossy green foliage growing to 2.4m high, producing many large trusses of scented pink flowers in spring attracting honey-eating birds and insects.
It is most suited in a warm well-drained position.
Trachelospermum jasminoides, or Chinese Star Jasmine, is a lovely, rather slow growing evergreen self-clinging climber, with sweetly fragrant, starry white flowers during summer.
It prefers warm districts and can be grown in the shade.
When are plants most fragrant?
This depends on the essential oils that provide the fragrance.
These oils are in flowers and plants at different levels during the day and night, this varies from variety to variety.
Roses have the strongest fragrance on damp mornings when the sun hits them until noon. Some flower’s fragrance is noticeable at night e.g. Melaleucas and Cestrum nocturm. Fragrance may be more noticeable in a protected position where the wind does not disperse the scent.