Popular Flower Types
From tulips to hyacinths, these classic spring flowers are the perfect flowering plants to kick off the season. Their unmistakable appearance is evident in Teleflora’s Dancing in Daisy Delight and Springtime’s Here bouquets.
Plant these perennials in fall for blooms in spring and early summer. They prefer cool to warm soil and full sun.
Besides birds and pollinators, people love flowers with great fragrances. We choose them for our gardens as they give us “smell pleasure” while working in the garden or cut and used for a bouquet indoors. They are often on the “don’t like” menu for deer and they come in many colors adding “view pleasure” to their fragrance.
The following information is from the University of Minnesota Extension and covers many easy-to-grow, fragrant perennials and annuals that grow well in our area.
Sweet pea: Grow these fragrant vines on a trellis for maximum effect. Sweet Peas prefer cooler temperatures and should be sown as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Like roses, some varieties aren’t fragrant at all so be sure to read the description on the plant tag or seed catalog.
Dianthus: There are numerous types of dianthus, so there’s one for almost any garden situation. Many types have flowers with a fragrant, spicy scent and notched petals. Common dianthus includes Sweet William, pinks, and carnations. Dianthus includes both annual and perennial types with the perennial types suited to Zones 3-9.
Lily-of-the-Valley: This tough little perennial (hardy to zone 2!) packs a powerful fragrance ideal for fussy missies and other tiny “Victorian” bouquets. Its white nodding bell-shaped flowers are surrounded by deep green oval leaves. Convallaria spreads nicely as a ground cover for a shaded area or woodland setting.
Iris: Many older varieties of bearded irises are very fragrant. Hardy to zone 3, these flowers bloom in early summer, require minimal care and are available in a wide variety of flower colors, including pink, blue, red, yellow and purple. Irises also have a range of fragrances, from anise to floral to fruity.
Tall garden phlox: These perennials bloom for six weeks or more starting in mid-summer. Bearing big clusters of cotton candy-like blooms on 4-foot stems, Phlox is a summer favorite across Minnesota.
Heliotrope: This is a favorite scented annual. Look for tall varieties for bouquets or shorter bedding varieties for borders. These tropical, heat-loving plants have clusters of small, fragrant deep blue-violet flowers on well-branched plants.
Nicotiana: Also known as flowering tobacco, these fragrant annuals come in a variety of sizes and colors. The deep red varieties are particularly attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. These flowers have the unique distinction of being most fragrant in the evening.
Sweet autumn clematis: Also known as Virgin’s Bower, clematis is a large hardy vine (hardy to zone 4A-or mulched well could overwinter in our area) that is covered with masses of starry white flowers. It attracts butterflies, and is so fragrant; you can. Smell it across the yard on warm autumn days.
Scented geranium: Plants primarily grown for their fragrant, fuzzy leaves. (Their flowers are inconsequential.) Native to South Africa, they cool themselves by releasing aromatic oil from glands on the backs of their leaves. Pelargoniums must be propagated by cuttings, so search for the plants at your favorite nursery or through your preferred garden catalog
You may have other favorite fragrant flower choices, but try these for variety. I enjoyed reading this article from the MN Extension service and hope it will give our readers some ideas for their “fragrant gardens.”
These local garden articles will reach you each week throughout the gardening season, but gardening information can be found year-round by clicking on “Yard and Garden” at the University of Minnesota Extension website, www.extension.umn.edu, or by visiting our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Beltramicountymastergardeners.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out the Beltrami County Master Gardener hotline at (218)-444-7916 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and a short description of your question or problem. Your call will be returned within two days.