A pretty, lush ornamental garden, filled with healthy plants and bright, colorful hydrangea blossoms in multiple colors.

There are lots of plants to choose from when creating a garden that delights the nose in addition to the eyes. Here are six favorites you may plant with each other to create a “sense-sational” backyard.


This plant makes a profusion of blossoms all summer long. It can fade during extremely hot weather, so let it have a little shade during July and August if possible. Grows on tall, strong stems with leaves that are small, which makes the plant look neat and compact. Flower colors include yellow, orange, white, pink, and blue. Likes rich soil and lots of water. Tolerates partial shade. Pinch the tips of starter plants to promote branching. When flowers begin to fade, shake the plants gently to deadhead.

Height: 12-24 inches. Spacing: Plant in groups of three or five, spacing plants 8 inches apart and groups 24 or more inches apart.


This neat plant has small, sage-colored leaves and a profusion of little flowers. Grows upright and remains small; perfect ground cover. Fertilize every other week for the best growth. Grows best in virtually boggy conditions, so don’t allow the soil dry out. Flowers in shades of pink and crimson, purple, and white. Likes partial shade, but will tolerate whole morning sun in a place that does not get overly hot. If planted in a container, then consider bringing it in next fall and keeping it on the winter. Pinch when you transplant to promote bushiness.

Height: up to 12 inches. Spacing: Plant in containers or in groups of three or five in the backyard, spaced 6 inches apart. Space groups 24 inches apart.

Trailing snapdragons

These plants have nice stems and little leaves, giving them an airy look. The trumpet-shaped flowers are merely sweet to look at and to odor. Comes in many different colors, including purple, yellow, blue, and orange. Fertilize every 2 weeks. Likes lots of moisture and rich soil. Full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. You may pinch off branch tips upon transplanting, but it is not needed. Pinching later in the season (after bloom) promotes late-season flowering.

Height: Mounded plants reach 8 inches in height. Trails as many as 2 feet. Spacing: Plant in containers or in the garden where they can track without interfering with other flowers.


This fragrant plant is very easy to grow. Flowers open in the late afternoon. Comes in red, pink, white, yellow, and blue colors. Slender stalks have fewer leaves than nemesia or bacopa, which makes them look very spacious. Plant in groups of five to seven plants for the best effect. Attracts hummingbirds. Susceptible to frost, so transplant after all risk of frost is passed. Likes moist soil but not soggy. Fertilize every 2 to 4 weeks during the summer. Pinch upon transplanting to promote bushiness. The leaves are somewhat tacky, so be cautious when weeding. Deadhead spent flowers to promote rebloom.

Height: 12-36 inches tall, depending on variety. Space: Plant in masses of five to seven plants for the best effect, spacing each plant 8-12 inches apart and groups 24 inches apart.

Sweet alyssum

Not only do these plants smell fantastic, they supply a small textural variety into the flower garden with their masses of white blossoms and little leaves. Does well alongside nemesia and bacopa in partial sunlight. Fertilize every 2 to 4 weeks. Tolerate dry conditions, but do not mind complete moisture. Will grow well in weaker or average soils. A amazing all-around plant.

Height: 6 to 8 inches. Spacing: Plant along the whole border of the flower garden, spacing each plant 8 inches apart.

Sweet pea

Cut the flowers when in full blossom and bring them in the home for a beautiful, long-lasting bouquet. Cut the entire flower stem to promote rebloom. Pinch transplants when they have four or more pairs of leaves. Don’t like hot, dry winds and the heat of sunlight. Provide partial shade. Keep moist at all times but not soggy. Likes rich soil, so amend with compost or peat and fertilize every 2 weeks throughout the growing season.

Height: These are climbers, so provide a trellis for the best growth. Be gentle, and include support if needed. Spacing: 6 inches apart.

Other Tips

Herbs like lemon balm, rosemary and mint include a beautiful layer to the scented garden, and because it is the leaves that smell pretty, you do not need to await your annual flowers to start. Plus, you can add these herbs into your cooking, completing the circle of pleasure.

Shrubs add still another lovely layer to the sweet-smelling flower garden, with Wiciokrzew, Lilac and Roses being the hottest. You can keep your garden easy by choosing from the candy annuals and herbs, however, and have a garden you can enjoy with all your senses.