Sweet pea has sweet smell of successGardening Which? rates the best scented annuals

04 April 2008

A woman cutting sweet peas

Cut sweet peas regularly

The sweet pea has been rated the best scented summer annual in a new study by Gardening Which?.

Fragrantissma, a popular variety of sweet pea, was praised for its ability to fill the garden with sweet fragrance and stay in bloom throughout the summer. 

The sweet pea is a regular feature in many gardens across the UK over the summer months, due to its distinct scent and because it is easy to grow.

Floral fragrances

Last summer, Gardening Which? compared 40 different scented annuals, and rated them according to strength of scent, sweetness of fragrance, and display.

Angel’s Trumpet, which releases its scent when the sun goes down, was ranked in second place by the Gardening Which? experts, while Bird’s Eye was placed third, with its small flowers and fragrant punch.

The remainder of the top ten was made up of popular plants such as lupins, evening primroses and petunias, as well as lesser known plants such as Cherry Pie and Migonette.

Evening primrose

Gardening Which? Editor Ceri Thomas said: ‘Just because a plant is scented, it doesn't mean it actually smells pleasant, or that you can detect it without having to bury your face in the flower.

‘The sweet pea, however, stands out as a great example of a British favourite that can fill the garden with fragrance over the summer months, as well as being extremely easy to grow and maintain.

‘By choosing the right plants, and sowing them in a sunny spot, you can look forward to sweet, floral fragrances every time you step outside this summer.’