Pick of the scented climbers

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

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.

Clematis armandii

The foliage of this desirable evergreen climber is complemented 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.

Trachelospermum jasminoides

This elegant evergreen climber with its glossy, cream-edged leaves is a 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.

Stautonia 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.

Jasminum officinale 'Devon 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.

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