Bringing sweet smell of success to flower beds

Cutting old flower stalks off an orchid

Cutting old flower stalks off an orchid

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Stepping out onto the patio to the aroma of different fragrances is one of the joys of summer.

For tall accents, plant old-fashioned highly scented varieties of sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus, in a deep pot to climb a wigwam of bamboo canes and provide fantastic scented blooms for cut flowers, so you can have fragrance inside and out.

All can be planted in pots to waft their delicious aromas around the patio for you and your guests to inhale, but if you have beds or borders close by, you can also make the most of those with more permanent plantings.

Make a low border out of dwarf lavenders such as ‘Munstead’, whose purple flowers will be a magnet to bees and will keep narrow beds looking neat. They’re easy to maintain and should flower throughout summer with just a little pruning.

Among my favourite shrubs is mock orange (Philadelphus), which, although not a classic climber, will grow up against trellis and fences, producing delicate white flowers in early summer which should fill even a large garden with fragrance.

This deciduous shrub looks lovely in the border, used in groups as screening or simply as a stand-alone specimen plant.