The heady scent of lilies can be significant when planted en masse. But a few cut blooms of these 'Stargazer' Oriental lilies in an outdoor basket welcome guests with a gentle perfume. Remove the pollen-laden stamens to prevent stained sniffers and clothing.
Four o'clock (Mirabilis jalapa)
"I remember my grandparents' property being littered with four o'clocks. As the sun would set, the air would turn sweet. Now, when I design large gardens with extra space, I always include this plant to remind us of simpler times. My clients are always surprised and fall in love with it." --Joseph Hillenmeyer, Lexington, Kentucky
Light: Full sun or slightly filtered light suits them.
Water and soil: Once seeds have germinated, this undemanding plant withstands dry Southern summers, perking up and reblooming with occasional rainfall.
Garden secret: Four o'clocks scatter seeds and spread indiscriminately. In the Lower South, they are perennial plants that form tubers, while in the Upper South they behave as annuals. They provide abundant seeds to share; be sure you want them before you sow.
Ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium) "A friend, who had gardened in Louisiana before moving to Houston, had ginger lily in her yard. We would get together--her
kids and mine--for afternoon playtime. One day she gave me a cut bloom to take home; it perfumed the entire house and brought
this peaceful calm into a bustling house full of small children." --Josephine Shanks, Houston
Light: Ginger lily adapts to full sun or light shade.
Water and soil: Plant tubers in soil rich with organic matter. Ginger lilies love water, making them good choices for a damp location.
Garden secret: Tuck them into the back corner of a garden for endless fragrance at summer's end. Tall plants may require staking.
"5 Fragrant Flowers" is from the June 2007 issue of Southern Living.