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Most Fragrant Flower Bulbs to Plant

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

most fragrant bulbsContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

To me, flowering bulbs are just this side of magic. Think about it. In the autumn, you bury small, brown, rough clumps that look and feel like hard balls of dead leaves. But when spring time comes around, the bulbs turn into beautiful foliage and amazingly colorful flowers perched on graceful stems.

The flowers are gorgeous, but when you add a sweet scent…ah, that’s magic on overload. If you want to experience the wonder of bulb flowers and a garden that smells like heaven, check out these varieties. Each is one of the most fragrant flower bulbs to plant.

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10. Muscari (Grape Hinacynth)

Not a true hyacinth, the Muscari is called a Grape Hyachinth because of its resemblance at a distance. The flowers feature bell-shaped blue or white flowers which look like upside-down clusters of grapes. The scent is slightly sweet and fresh. These diminutive flowers seldom grow above 12″, so be sure to plant them near the walkway or at the front of a flower bed.

9. Iris New Moon

new moon iris

I have a weakness for yellow flowers, especially blooms that display a soft, buttery yellow color. But add a sweet scent, and it’s bound to become a must-have for my garden. That was the case with the New Moon Iris. This bloom is big and showy, without overwhelming the rest of the garden. And the scent? Perfect!

8. Caravan Lily

caravan lilies

If you want showy and amazing scent, look no further than the Caravan lily. This hybrid flower is all the rage among gardeners who want a dramatic element without sacrificing any of the lily’s traditional fragrance.

Beginning gardener? Lilies are remarkably forgiving, so they’re a good flower for those just starting out with planting bulbs.

7. Actaea Daffodil

Daffodil 'Actaea'

Odds are Jay Gatsby had at least a few of these delicate, spicy-scented daffodils in his gardens. These white daffodils are far from the showy yellow ones found in most gardens, but the scent more than makes up for any lack of visual drama. The red-edged center adds the perfect detail of color…never too much, always just right.

6. Peach Melba Tulip

Said to be the most fragrant of all tulips, the Peach Melba looks more like a peony than a traditional tulip. This double late tulip offers soft pastel color and incredible fragrance for gardens in most growing regions.

5. Paper Narcissus (White Narcissus)

White narcissus

Named for a story of self-adoration, from the Greek word narkào which means narcotic or intoxicating, the narcissus is one of most sweetly scented of all bulb flowers. The almost translucent pure white flowers invite a closer look and a touch. Plant these bulbs near your garden benches or seats for sweet retreats all spring long.

4. City of Haarlem Hyachinth

city of Haarlem hyacinths

Close your eyes and imagine all the intense scent of a brightly colored purple or pink hyacinth, but with a much more delicate color. Now open them, and look at the City of Haarlem hyacinth. This gorgeous flower starts out a delicate pale, sunshine yellow, then matures to a creamy ivory. Use these flowers as a contrast to brighter bulb flowers like showy irises or intense tulips.

3. Easter Lily

Easter Lily

Don’t let the fact that these flower bulbs and plants are sold in grocery stores and from road side stands fool you. The Easter Lily is a highly fragrant flower with a long history in the U.S. In fact, it was common to see these hardy lilies in gardens in New York as early as the 1880’s. Start then in pots for your Easter table, then transplant them into the garden for a sweet-scented return next spring.

2. Daffodil Thalia

Another choice for subtle color and delicous scent, the Thalia Daffodil is a more delicate and slender version of the popular spring bouquet flower. Let them roam in grassy areas of your yard for a wild flower look, or plant them in a fairy garden to attract the wee people with their gently swaying stems and soft, floral fragrance.

1. Ballerina Tulip

It’s hard to know which element steals the show with the Ballerina Tulip. Is it the intense orange color? Or the irresistible scent? Either way, this highly scented bulb flower is sure to be a star in your garden.

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Whether you plant hundreds of bulb flowers or just a few, be sure to include some of these fragrant choices to make your garden smell as good as it looks.


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