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Northern California Regional Reports

Four Fragrant Favorites for Northern California

Make your garden smell as good as it looks with one of these scented beauties

Turn to ‘Pepita’ pink jasmine for a multicolored spin on the classic sweet-smelling vine. Photo: Fionuala Campion

For the plant lover, fragrance enhances the gardening experience, adding an almost magical layer to the beauty of a plant and an intangible dimension to the garden’s design. Fragrance can be fleeting, but it can also call up long-lost memories and feelings, improve moods, and enhance mental well-being.

‘Attar of Roses’ scented geranium
‘Attar of Roses’ scented geranium has light violet flowers and a stringy growth habit. Photo: Jennifer Benner

Not all fragrant plants get their heady scents from their blooms. Fragrant foliage also holds a valued place in the garden. A sunny walkway edged with chaparral sage (Salvia clevelandii, Zones 8–11) or scented geraniums (Pelargonium spp. and cvs., Zones 9–11) is a delight to stroll through on a warm summer’s day, with sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum, Zones 4–9) and its fragrance of fresh-mown hay the perfect choice for shadier garden paths.

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