Lilium longiflorum in a garden.

How to Plant a Fragrant Combination in Your Garden

Scent is one of the most evocative senses, and this profusion of perfumed plants is sure to tempt you closer to enjoy the fragrant flowers of old-fashioned roses, lilies, lavender, and pinks.

When to plant: Early spring.

At their best: Summer.

Time to complete: 3 hours.

You will need: Well-rotted organic matter – such as manure, grit, spade, all-purpose granular fertilizer.

Selection of plants to use: Bronze-leaved fennel, Easter lily, Lilium longiflorum, Pink Dianthus ‘Super Trooper’, Silver-leaved thyme, French lavender, Lavandula stoechas, Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’.

Plant the roses

Most of the plants here prefer free-draining soil, so dig plenty of grit into clay soils to improve drainage. The roses require more moisture.

Complete the planting

Plant a line of lavender and lilies in front of the roses, and position the thyme and pinks along the front edge. Mulching with gravel will keep plant stems dry, and keep them from rotting off.


Keep the bed well watered for the first year, and during any prolonged dry spells thereafter. To ensure a good display, feed the plants each spring with a granular fertilizer. Regularly remove any faded rose and Dianthus flowers as they appear to extend their performance.