Bulbs with scent & sass
There are plenty of bulbs which offer both flower power and scent-sational fragrance.
If you want spring bulbs plus scent, there are two that stand out: hyacinths and ‘Erlicheer’ daffs. But many other daffs are fragrant too. Try these Long Cups: ‘Carlton’, ‘Louise de Coligny’; or these doubles: ‘Bridal Crown’, ‘Calgary’, ‘Cheerfulness’. Or try these bulbs below.
LILY OF THE VALLEY
Famed for its sweet perfume, Convallaria majalis grows in clumps in fertile, humus-rich, moist soil in shade. Its pure white bells are produced on 20cm high stems in spring. This plant grows best in cold climates, naturalising under trees. Plant in autumn.
Best known for their bold, trumpet-like blooms, some of the newer hybrids also have a subtle fragrance. When planting, the nose of the bulb should be above the container's rim with its shoulders protruding above the soil surface. Position indoors in a light, warm spot.
These small beauties are one of the first spring flowers to appear. They produce 3-4 flowers per bulb and grow best in cooler climates. In warmer areas, grow in a cool spot and plant deeper and later in the season. Once in flower, bring indoors to enjoy.
EAU DE FREESIA
Make a delectable air freshener or simple eau de toilette with the highly fragrant petals of freesias. British site funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk shows us how it's done.
You need: spray-free strongly scented freesias • boiling water • 2 bowls that are easy to pour • coffee filter or muslin cloth • attractive glass bottle for storing the freesia water in, preferably with an atomiser • a label Remove petals from flowerhead, cut into small pieces and place in one of the bowls. Pour over boiling water and ensure petals remain submerged. Leave to stand for at least half an hour. Pour through the coffee filter into the other bowl. Squeeze filter to remove remaining liquid from petals. Decant the perfume into the glass bottle and label.
For long-lasting blooms, pick freesias when the first flower is open and two other flowers are showing colour.