The Sweet Scents of Spring

Each year, we gardeners grow antsy as winter draws to a close but it seems spring will never arrive. Daily, the season teases, tempts and enchants us with the slightest offerings as the temperatures rise, a balmy breeze brushes our cheeks and the days grow a bit longer, but all we see is a world of gray and white muck, dull skies and bare plants. Finally, there is a flamboyant explosion of branch, leaf, bud and bloom that renders our famished sense of sight satiated when in just a short time spring literally springs to life.

Close Your Eyes and Sniff

Sight, however, is not the strongest of senses, smell is. Even before we see signs of spring, we can smell it in the air. Science has proven that pleasant scents have a positive effect on the brain causing feelings of contentment, relaxation and happiness. Scent is also one of the strongest memory triggers, and a whiff of a favorite bloom can remind us of all the joy we find in gardening and the pleasure our spring blooms can bring. With this in mind, why not plant your early spring garden to satisfy the nose and improve your disposition?

Early Flowers, Early Scents

Bulbs provide some of the earliest spring blooms. Many gardeners have long enjoyed the sweet scent of hyacinth but it’s not well known that there are countless other fragrant flower bulbs to captivate our sense of smell. Some of these blossoms are already familiar spring favorites, and their perfumes may be best appreciated if the bulbs are planted closer to the nose. Consider adding these bulbs to a tall pot, a window box or a garden bed atop a stone wall and you'll smell them even easier. These flowers are also well suited for cutting and enjoying indoors in a vase, where they will bring the sweet scent of spring indoors even if the season isn't yet well advanced in the garden.

Fragrant Spring Bulbs

These are just a few of the more fragrant, early-blooming bulbs and their sweet-smelling cultivars that can bring the scent of spring to your garden. Which ones will you try this year?


·         Large Cupped Daffodils

o   ‘Carlton’

o   ‘Flower Record’

o   ‘Fragrant Breeze’

o   ‘Ice Follies’

o   ‘Romance’

o   ‘Professor Einstein’

·         Small Cupped Daffodils

o   ‘Edna Earl’

o   ‘Polar Ice’

o   ‘Sinopel’

·         Double Daffodils

o   ‘Bridal Crown’

o   ‘Cheerfulness’

o   ‘Erlicheer’

o   ‘Flower Drift’

o   ‘Obdam’

o   ‘Sir Winston Churchill’

o   ‘Tahiti’

o   ‘White Lion’

o   ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’

·         Jonquilla Daffodils

o   ‘Baby Moon’

o   ‘Bell Song’

o   ‘Pink Angel’

o   ‘Pipit’

o   ‘Pueblo’

o   ‘Punchline’

o   ‘Quail’

o   ‘Sailboat’

o   ‘Stratosphere’

o   ‘Sundisc’

o   ‘Suzy’

o   ‘Trevithian’

·         Poeticus Daffodils

o   ‘Actaea’

o   ‘Pheasant’s Eye’

·         Triandrus Daffodils

o   ‘Hawera’

o   ‘Ice Wings’

o   ‘Petrel’

o   ‘Thalia’

·         Tazetta Daffodils

o   ‘Avalanche’

o   ‘Cragford’

o   ‘Geranium’

o   ‘Minnow’

o   ‘Silver Chimes’


·         Species:

o   Tulip biflora

o   Tulip ‘Little Beauty’

o   Tulip ‘Little Princess’

·         Single Early:

o   ‘Beauty Queen’

o   ‘Bellona’

o   ‘Candy Prince’

o   ‘Christmas Dream’

o   ‘Christmas Marvel’

o   ‘Couleur Cardinal’

o   ‘Keizerkroon’

o   ‘Princess Irene’

·         Double Early:

o   ‘Abba’

o   ‘Mondial’

o   ‘Monsella’

o   ‘Monte Carlo’

o   ‘Montreux’

o   ‘Peach Blossom’

o   ‘Schoonoord’

·         Triumph:

o   ‘Annie Schilder’

o   ‘Apricot Beauty’

o   ‘Attila’

o   ‘Bastogne’

o   ‘Cairo’

o   ‘Hermitage’

o   ‘Jan Ohms’

o   ‘Salmon Pearl’

·         Darwin Hybrid:

o   ‘Daydream’

o   ‘Holland’s Glory’

o   ‘Lightening Sun’

o   ‘Silverstream’

·         Parrot:

o   ‘Apricot Parrot’

·         Lily Flowering:

o   ‘Ballerina’

o   ‘West Point’

·         Double Late (Peony):

o   ‘Abigail’

o   ‘Angelique’

o   ‘Black Hero’

o   ‘Carnavel de Nice’

o   ‘Casablanca’

o   ‘Crème Upstar’

o   ‘Hermione’

o   ‘Lilac Perfection’

o   ‘Maravilla’

o   ‘Maywonder’

o   ‘Miranda’

o   ‘Mount Tacoma’

o   ‘Orange Princess’

o   ‘Upstar’

o   ‘Wirosa’

·         Single Late

o   ‘Dillenburg’