What are the best hedges for scent and fragrance?

Spring is the perfect time to sit out in the garden, admiring the daffodils and enjoying the smell of freshly mown grass.

But did you know that one of the additional benefits many hedging plants offer is fragrance?

To add another sensory element to the atmosphere of your garden this spring and summer, consider growing one of the below hedges.


• Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’)
White, sweetly scented flowers appear in spring on stems left untrimmed the previous season.
• Escallonia ‘Crimson Spire(Escallonia rubra ‘Crimson Spire’)
The leaves have a sweet, resinous scent while its prolific pink-red flowers (June to October) have a delightful honey fragrance
• Box Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida)
As a member of the honeysuckle genus, it is perhaps not surprising that its springtime, creamy white flowers are pleasantly scented. However, if Lonicera nitida is kept pruned as a hedge, the flowers will not appear.
• Perovskia Blue Spire (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spire’)
This fabulous plant has wonderfully aromatic leaves, reminiscent of both Sage and Lavender. It is also a truly magnificent planting companion for Lavender.

Red tips of Photinia leaves in spring

Red tips of Photinia leaves in spring.

• Photinia Red Robin (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’)
The prolific white flowers have a mild, hawthorn-like scent. If you don’t happen to like Hawthorn, an early trim will stop flowering
• Privet ( Ligustrum vulgare)
When it comes to fragrance, Privet really is the Marmite plant of hedging. For some (like me), it is one of the defining smells of summer – for others…well, let’s just say they can be very rude about it.
Lavenders may be edging rather than hedging, but we cannot leave the topic of fragrance in the garden without giving them a well-deserved mention. The scent of lavender is gloriously distinct and is as much a part of the English garden as it is of fields in Provence, but the fragrance of individual varieties offer subtle variations on the theme and if fragrance is a priority, find room for as many as you can.

close up shot of lavender

Meadow of lavender.