Certain flowers are coy, curious creatures that conserve their beauty for the moonlight. Only after night falls do they take centre stage, bewitching us with their scent. Our latest love interest, honeysuckle has this very nocturnal nature. Although willing to perform in the sunshine, its scent evolves throughout the day, culminating in an alluring, radiant fragrance by dusk. And what better way to bask in the beauty of your garden than with a sunset cocktail, surrounded by twinkling candles and a heavenly aroma. Garden designer Emma Coleman reveals five plants that wait for the light to dim so they can perform under the stars.
Our latest love interest, honeysuckle scent
evolves throughout the day, culminating in an
alluring, radiant fragrance by dusk.
Our scent of the moment is best admired at dusk. Honeysuckle’s fragrance and pale flowers are irresistible to after-dark insects. It’s such a hard-working plant, providing interest for much of the year, and birds, bees and butterflies absolutely adore it. It really is a very generous plant and, because it’s native to our shores, it thrives with very little effort, although it does prefer sunnier spots and a little encouragement to climb – with a trellis.
The scent is instantly recognisable and the flowers so beautiful beneath an open window at night-time. Opt for Trachelospermum jasminoides, which is easier to grow and doesn’t shed its leaves. It’s best grown against a warm, sunny wall, but once it has flowered, be sure to prune it back so as you have an abundance of new blossom the next season.
Commonly known as flowering tobacco, this has a magnificent fragrance after dark. It makes a fantastic border plant and will also flourish in a large container. It’s a versatile flower that’s suited to both full sun and light shade, and comes in a colour palette that ranges from deep pinks to vivid white.
Although short-flowering, this is a spectacular addition to your garden. Its statuesque form and instantly recognisable trumpet-shaped flowers create drama in any planting palette. It likes to have cool bulbs and roots, so make sure it is protected by other planting when it starts to flower.
With its frothy but upright nature, phlox is a garden classic. The spectrum of colours available varies greatly, and insects adore it, so plant swathes throughout your borders. With a scent that’s sweet but not overpowering, have it within reach, say in a container on the patio, where you can enjoy its fragrance with a glass of something chilled in hand.