Some clematis flowers release a sweet perfume that can scent an entire yard. ‘Sweet Summer Love’ is that kind of plant. This clematis blossoms all summer long, and each bloom is filled with sweet floral fragrance. On hot humid days, the scent hangs in the air. Blossoms open a cranberry hue and shift to purple as they age. Best of all, ‘Sweet Summer Love’ won’t invade your garden with unwanted seedlings (like its cousin, sweet autumn clematis). Vines grow 10 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide—a great choice for an entry arch or pergola over a patio. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Fill spring and fall with eye-catching color and sweet floral perfume by planting a container overflowing with fragrant annuals. This pot features a trio of plants that thrive in the seasons when days and nights are cool. Perennial ‘Lucius’ snowy woodrush (Luzula nivea ‘Lucius’) is the grassy green plant in the center of the container (hardy in Zones 4-9). It’s surrounded by Cool Wave Lavender Blue Trailing Pansy, which has a light floral fragrance. Clear Crystal white sweet alyssum offers a sweet perfume. This group of plants beckons early and late season pollinator insects.
Four cushioned lounge chairs line the far edge of the pool, with two umbrellas overhead to add a touch of shade. Meanwhile, hydrangea bushes and other eye-catching plants form a natural backdrop that smells just as wonderful as it looks.
The terraced garden adjacent to the pool lounge area not only provides beautiful silvery-gray soft textures, but by using wonderfully fragrant native species like Lavender and Artemisia, wonderful smells are sure to abound.
‘Vaniglia Sanguigno’ is an acidless sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) with a pale pink flesh that has a hint of vanilla. This blood orange is easy to grow, doing best with bright light and temps above 60 F. Watch for flowers in late winter and spring; fertilize lightly through summer. Fruit ripens through fall and winter.
Camellia sinensis is the plant you want for growing traditional tea leaves. Dried mature leaves produce black tea; young leaves yield a less acidic brew known as white tea. Allow plants to reach 3 to 5 feet before picking leaves, which you can do twice a year. Prune plants when they’re young to cause branching, which gives you more stems to harvest. Plants are winter hardy in Zones 8-10. Grow them in pots in other zones. Feed tea plants lightly—only in spring.
A chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao) is a large plant, not starting to flower until it reaches 5 to 7 feet tall. It craves warmth (temps above 60 F) and bright light. Sit it outdoors for summer to encourage flowering. Blooms typically form spring through fall, followed by a large pod-like fruit. The fruit starts green and ripens to golden yellow. Inside the fruit are the chocolate beans, which must be fermented and dried before use.
In South America, yerbe mate is the drink of choice, more popular than coffee. It’s made from the leaves of a plant by the same name: yerbe mate (Ilex paraguariensis). The drink, made with dried leaves, tastes refreshing hot or cold with a flavor similar to green tea. Packed with antioxidants and caffeine, yerbe mate is an easy growing beauty. Start picking leaves once plants are established—anywhere from 2 to 8 feet tall. Feed plants regularly through spring and summer.
The coffee plant (Coffee arabica) makes an ideal houseplant, not needing high light to grow and flower. Plants start blooming when three years old and usually in late spring and/or summer. Flowers fade to form green cherry-looking fruit that turns red when ripe. Inside are two coffee beans. In summer, place your coffee plant outdoors, gradually exposing it to sun.
Rewarding and easy to grow, Meyer lemon (Citrus x meyeri) is prized by chefs for its intense flavor. It adapts well to growing in pots. In cold regions, shift containers indoors for winter. Keep plants in a too-small rather than a too-large pot for best growth. Most importantly, allow soil to dry out between waterings to avoid root problems. Meyer lemons offer a sweeter juice, less acid and a thinner peel than other lemons. Use it for lemonade, dropped into water or to season the rims of glasses.