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Fragrant scented plants for paths and patios

Riding around the lanes on my bike I can be overwhelmed by the powerful scented hedgerows, cow parsley, hawthorn, blackthorn, lilacs and elderflower all contributing.

Nothing brings back a memory like a scent. This can be a daily occurrence living near Faversham with the smells from the brewery reminding me of growing up on a hop farm.

Although we generally choose a plant or flower based on how it appeals to us visually, their scent can be just as important, especially if you are choosing planting for a seating area or a walkway that you will pass along daily.

Herbs can great for use as edging to a pathway. Rosemary, thyme and marjoram can fill the air with their aromatic scent when brushed past.

Good scented plants include trachelosperum jasminoides, an evergreen climber has a long flowering season.

Philadelphus, or mock orange, has an amazing perfume that funnily my husband hates and I love, or there is lilac in its many shades.

Syringa vulgaris (lilac)
Syringa vulgaris (lilac)

Or daphnes, their fragrance being spicy, citrus and honey.

Wisteria, cascading over walls and climbing up everything has an almost talcum powder like scent.

While viburnum bodnantense has an unmistakeable scent for early spring followed by viburnum azara microphylla for slightly later, yellow-scented flowers.

Hawthorn or Blackthorn?

You will have been enjoying their beautiful blossom in the hedgerows and you will no doubt enjoy the blackthorn’s sloes later in the year but can you tell blackthorn and hawthorn apart?

Hawthorn, crataegus monogyna, has leaves before flowers. Blackthorn, prunus spinosa, has flowers before leaves.

The flowers of the hawthorn emerge from the same point at the buds. The flowers of the blackthorn appear along the length of the spines.

Both have thorns but those of the the blackthorn are generally longer.

Although both fruits start green the hawthorn haws turn red and have a single stone in a hollow cup. Blackthorn fruit are sloes, round and blue-black like a blueberry and great for making into gin!

Sloes on the blackthorn
Sloes on the blackthorn
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