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Most fragrant shrubs?

Posted by honestbill 6a (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 22, 10 at 19:46

I live in Zone 6a (NW Arkansas) and have a fairly steep slope in my back yard. I have a spot (10' radius) that gets good early sun and very good mid-day sun in the winter and average to good mid-day sun in the summer. We have a 2-level deck in the back and I want to provide 8 months (March thru October) of fragrance (flowers and/or foliage) to the deck. I need some recommendations for shrubs that at least collectively can provide fragrance through the season. Though evergreen is preferable, the shrubs can be deciduous as long as they have at least 3 seasons of interest and aren't blah for much of the year (i.e. lilac, forsythia ... unspectacular when not blooming). Deer are a consideration. Thanks, Bill


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 22, 10 at 20:28

Various fragrant viburnums might be possible there. If you want to do any kind of serious gardening you need to fence the deer out, instead of leaving the fruits of your efforts at their mercy.


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

Abelia mosanensis is hardy in your zone, terrifically fragrant, deer resistant and has great fall color. I also second the many fragrant viburnums. For very early fragrance, look at Magnolia stellata, also deer resistant; and of course most of the magnolias are very fragrant and all are deer resistant. Philadelphus 'Innocence' is also very fragrant and not as huge and sprawling as many of the genus. Heptacodium miconioides has pretty good fragrance in late summer as does Clethra. The last three shrubs are also quite deer resistant.


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Thanks for the suggestions ... I've taken a look at all. OK, I think I've decided exactly what I want ... a grouping of 3 shrubs and one small tree that are preferably evergreen but at least have keen winter interest if deciduous that are all fragrant providing fragrance as a group from early spring to late fall, all of which are deer resistant. If you were to pick these 4 plants (1 tree and 3 shrubs), what would be your choices to fill the bill?


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 23, 10 at 13:03

Don't forget that deer don't just browse, they rub. Any small specimen that has good velvet-removal characteristics can look like it was run over by a mower after one night.


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

Shrub roses? For flowers and hips. Mahonia 'Charity' evergreen fragrant late winter blossom shapely foliage and berries. Eleagnus ebingii - evergreen and fragrant with winter flowers.


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Heptacodium for small tree. A Magnolia stellata, Abelia (for fall color as well),and a viburnum. None of these are evergreen, but the heptacodium has great peeling bark.


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

just on smell ... not size... that is for you to figure out

mohawk viburnam
daphne
mock orange

ken


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

I think mock orange might fall into the 'unspectacular while not blooming' category. I have one in my backyard and when it pops, it smells and looks beautiful, but for most of the time its a non-distinct green shrub.


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

Winter Honeysuckle, Carol Mackie Daphne, Korean Spice Virburnum, Double Delight Rose, Belle Etoile Mock Orange, and then Agastache Desert Sunrise for late summer mint scented foliage that deer hate. It has beautiful flowers that attract hummingbirds.


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OK, after all of your great suggestions and a ton of research, I have decided on the following for my back slope ... a Franklin Tree to the rear, closer to the house, with a Fragrant Abelia and Korean Spice Viburnum in front and to either side of the Franklin Tree and further down the slope ... the KS Viburnum for spring fragrance, the Abelia for summer fragrance, and the Franklin for fall fragrance. There is some overlap of fragrance, of course, but there should be non-stop fragrance from spring to fall, which is when we use our deck. And, each of these appear to have good fall color, as well. Sound like a plan?


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

Abelia mosanensis blooms late spring, not summer. Franklinia--recipe for heartbreak.


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

Just when I think I'm ready to order my plants, someone who I'm sure knows more about this than I do comes along and bursts my bubble. :^( Not to be argumenative, but Dave's Garden shows Abelia blooming Late Spring to Mid Fall, Gurney's shows it at Late Spring to Early Summer, and White Flower Farm shows it at May/June, so I'm confused. If Abelia doesn't work, what is the best choice for summer fragrance? Philadelphus Mock Orange? As for the Franklin Tree, why the heartbreak? I'm heartbroken that someone has said something negative about it.


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It pays to research before you buy. Some shrubs only flower for a few days. I use the website below a lot because it has bloom data for many plants to show when and how long the plants were in bloom. Click on the left where it says "bloom data" in red. You can click at the top where it says alphabetical list (botanical names) or common names to look up other plants.

Souvenir de St. Anne's is supposed to be a fragrant disease resistant rose.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mobot - Viburnum Carlesii


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

There may be a range of Abelias that flower from late spring to early summer, but the deciduous Abelia, the one that will be hardy for you, A. mosanensis, flowers late spring--about the same time as Philadelphus 'Innocence'. I wouldn't trust Gurney's to tell me when violets flower--a dreadful nursery.

As for roses, they're definitely not deer resistant.
As for Franklinia, do a little research.


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

You can always add a Butterfly Bush. Not particularly beautiful foliage, but it does bloom and smell spring until fall.


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

Not a shrub, but Nicotiana is a fragrant self-seeding annual. Lovely scent from late afternoon & into the night.

One way to increase the interest of a shrub of short interest is to plant a clematis to grow up through it. Some clematis have scent but not all. You'll need to match the eventual size of the clematis and shrub.


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

nh babs: That question just came up for me today. Do you have a "ratio" you use? or small medium large?


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RE: Most fragrant shrubs?

Idabean/Marie -

No formal ratio. I mostly look at the ultimate size of the clematis and make sure that it won't totally cover & overwhelm the shrub. A clematis like Sweet Autumn Clematis has a reputation for being a huge plant, a bit of a thug. So I probably wouldn't plant it on a shrub , but plant it on a fence, trellis or tree. (Actually, since it has the potential to be invasive, that's one I wouldn't plant at all - I have enough trouble with oriental bittersweet and J. honeysuckle) I've seen pictures of C. montana planted in a 40 foot tall evergreen, maybe a Thuja.

I also plant the shrub and let it get established before planting the clematis. I plant the clematis outside of the ultimate dripline of the shrub at maturity and then use a bamboo stake or two to guide it to the shrub. When I first started combining clematis with shrubs, I did plant one clematis that was too exuberant for the shrub it was near, so I put a trelllis behind the shrub. Now the clematis climbs into the shrub and from there onto the trellis, so it has worked out okay.

I guess that I wouldn't also plant a 5 foot clematis on a huge lilac or full sized thuja since it would get lost, but that hasn't really come up for me.

I don't know if that answer was helpful at all . . .


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