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Scented climbers

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Pick of the best scented climbers

From elegant evergreens to scented stunners for sun or shade, Phil Clayton, of The Garden, picks his top five scented climbers.

Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Variegatum'
This elegant evergreen climber with its glossy, cream edged leaves is great plant for a sunny wall or fence, somewhere with shelter from the wind and the coldest winter weather. In summer, bunches of white propeller-shaped flowers appear, producing delicious, sweet jasmine-like scent.

 

 

Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’
Few plants can compete with jasmine for fragrance; this selection combines delicious perfume with distinctive, larger than usual, cream-coloured flowers produced during summer. Plant it somewhere well-drained in plenty of sun.

 

 

 

Clematis armandii
The foliage of this desirable evergreen climber is complimented in early spring by clusters of starry, pink-flushed white flowers that have a fresh scent rather similar to hawthorn blossom. It will grow in sun or shade; my plant scrambles along a north-facing wall, where although later into growth, it usually escapes damaging spring frosts.

 

 

Stauntonia hexaphylla
This vigorous climber with its bold foliage and twining stems is an easy evergreen to grow but needs a sunny position to flower well. In early summer, little violet-tinged cream bells appear which have a delicious fresh, sweet, rather fruity scent. Purple fruit may form after a hot summer.

 

 

 

Mandevilla laxa
A surprisingly hardy species from a genus of usually tender climbers, this deciduous south American climber bears clusters of large, pure white flowers late in summer; they have a lovely, sweet scent, especially at night. It needs as much sun as you can provide and may need extra protection in a cold winter but it is worth the effort.

Lovely lonicera

<a href="/Plants/RHS-Publications/Journals/The-Garden/2011-issues/June" title="Lovely lonicera">Lovely lonicera</a>

For more on climbers see the June issue of The Garden, where Nigel Colbourne takes an in-depth look at Lonicera.

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