For many plant lovers, scent plays an important role in enjoying a garden. Fragrance adds an ineffable, almost magical quality to a planting scheme, enhancing the beauty of the flowers by the addition of pleasantly scented breezes wafting from the direction of the garden. Fragrant flowers thus are able to simultaneously appeal to two of our senses, instead of just one. A fragrant garden also has a wonderful ability to trigger memory -- so often the flower fragrances that most appeal to us are the ones that we loved as children.

Leaves can be scented as well as flowers, as any lover of herbs may attest. The fragrances of lavender and of sweetbriar roses rise from the leaves as well as the flowers, and plants such as mints and scented geraniums are often grown for the pleasant smell their leaves produce when rubbed. Many plants keep their scent well enough to be dried and used in the making of potpourri -- a way of keeping the reminder of one's fragrant garden around through the entire year.

You won't be able to smell them, but hopefully the plants and flowers in our garden photos -- along with our fragrant garden ideas -- will get you on the way to the spectacular sensory experience this sort of planting can provide.

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The white flowers of tall Nicotiana sylvestris have aptly been compared to bursts of fireworks. Like the fireworks they resemble, they really come into their own at dusk, standing out in the border and sharing their perfume more freely after dark. Here they are accompanied by other fragrant plants, including their smaller relatives N. alata, petunias, and pungent but pleasant marigolds.

If flowers are your focus, continue to the next page to explore your options in the world of scented blooms.

A heavenly scent is but one way to select the plants for your garden. Find other potential garden themes and ideas at these photo-rich spots: