Agastache, or hummingbird mint, with leaves that exude a fruity fragrance when you brush past...this new purple cultivar is A. 'Blue Boa'.
The heady fragrances of spring and summer are in the rear view mirror - hyacinths are a distant memory, the lilies are gone, most roses are through or in decline. Now is the time to lean in close - you have to work a little harder to enjoy the scents of September, which are earthier, fruitier, spicier, not as sweet as mid-summer garden perfume. You may have to crush a few leaves between your fingers....release the scent, breathe it in to enjoy the hidden dimension of the garden that is most evocative. It is said that our sense of smell is our most ancient sense, stirring our reptilian brain as it stirs up memories, associations, hungers and satisfactions.
Along with the agastache above, here are a few delicious late summer garden scents:
I love any and all scented geraniums, for their mynah bird leaves that mimic the scent of peppermint, or nutmeg, lemon or chocolate...and for their modest flowers that bloom off and on all summer. They aren't hardy, but they are happy overwintering inside on a sunny windowsill. Rub their leaves, and clear your sinuses.
Lemon verbena is a spindly, branching plants with intense lemon-scented leaves. Float them in ice tea, chop them into a salad, or just inhale the scent of the leaves first thing in the morning to jolt you awake...
Is anything more evocative of summer's end than the spicy scent of basil leaves?
Another modest flower with one of the most appealing fragrances ever - the scent of heliotrope is strongly vanilla, with a garnish of cherries...and an underlay of musk so it isn't too sweet. I can't remember a summer in the last 40 years I haven't grown a pot of heliotrope by my front and/or back door. The dark purple cultivar may be more showy, but this paler flower is more strongly scented. Always buy heliotrope in bloom (it shows up in nurseries in late April, early May...) so you can give each plant the sniff test. I swear that some individual plants are more deeply, richly scented than others....