• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Back in March 2013 we asked you to name your best-loved fragrant plants and we were overwhelmed by a variety of responses from near and far. Traditional flowers did particularly well - hyacinths came top for spring, and sweet peas were a clear winner for summer with twice as many votes as the next most popular flower, honeysuckle. Here's a selection of your responses.

Jane Crosby

Dianthus Kessock Zebra

As a very small child my favourite garden scent was that of the old fashioned pinks. These grew in my great grandmother's garden in profusion and I remember running round her many flower beds bordered by these wonderfully scented and beautifully pink flowers.

When I met my future husband he had a very small garden at his family home but did have a patch of violets planted by his grandfather and some wonderful lily of the valley. We have carried the offspring of those 'grandpa's violets' and lily of the valley to all our future gardens.


Scott Zona, Florida, USA

Recently, I visited Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, California, for the first time in many years. I closed my eyes, inhaled deeply, and I was magically transported back to my days there as a graduate student in botany. No time machine could have done a better job than the fragrance of the coastal sage scrub, which is rich in aromatic shrubs such as black sage (Salvia mellifera), and Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii). Their pungent, earthy aromas brought those memories back as vividly as a colour photograph. Proust had his madeleines; I have my coastal sage scrub. 

Richard Mott, Sidmouth

Reticulata iris - Gordon  A plant not often noted for scent is Iris reticulata - the basic species which never seems to spread but has the most delicate smell rather like violets; the only one which multiplies is 'George', but alas it has no fragrance.

To me scent is very important; what is a rose without its smell? How disappointing is the perennial sweet pea compared with the annual version?


Elizabeth Slatter, Camberley, Surrey

I swoon when I put my head into the flower of Rosa 'Souvenir du Docteur Jamain'. I love to wander around the garden at dusk and breathe in the heady perfume of the honeysuckle and sit in the corner by the summer jasmine, with a glass of wine, on a warm summer’s evening. In winter, rushing in from the car, I catch the sweet scent of the Hamamelis planted on the corner of the drive. All is well.

Caroline Morton, France

Lonicera x purpusii Winter BeautyMy very favourite plant is the winter flowering honeysuckle which grows along the drive behind a hedge, hidden from the road. On sunny afternoons here in France, its perfume drifts around the front garden. If I'm working quietly, listening to conversations of people walking past, I love the moment when I realise that they have caught the scent also and it stops them in their tracks as they sniff the air and try to work out the source! It leads to some delightful conversations if I join in and show them where the scent is coming from!


Beryl Hopkins, Harpenden, Herts

Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' is a fairly recent acquisition of mine, and I shall never regret it! The perfume is exquisite, more pronounced if there is a glimmer of sunshine. This evergreen bush, just the right height for burying your nose in, has a sweet delicate scent which really gives hope that spring is on the way! For summertime, I’d never be without Alyssum, its wonderful honey scent fills the air and visitors always comment on it. 

Alison Theobald, Essex

Rosa Cardinal de RichelieuI love the scent of the old-fashioned roses in my garden, early on a summer morning, still damp with dew. On a June morning, I can be seen with my nose in the blooms, sniffing away!

As a child we used to visit a great aunt whose narrow garden path was hemmed in by herbs; thyme, lavender, rosemary. The scent of these fabulous herbs takes me back to those long ago days and I have created my own scented path now.



Anne Fordham

Viburnum carlesii DianaCambridge Botanic Garden has a scented garden which does just that all the year round, but has a special plant – Viburnum carlesii, I should love some of that in a bottle or in the garden.

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