Q&A: South-facing plants

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Q: I want to replant a south-facing bed with fragrant shrubs. Suggestions of suitable plants would be appreciated.

A: I’ve been asked this question quite a few times in the past and the answer is – you’re spoiled for choice.

Many shrubs produce scented flowers, while some are renowned for their aromatic foliage, so there are so many from which to choose that all I can do is give you a short list of some of the most easily obtainable. Some may grow too tall, be too small, too wide or just not your cup of tea, but, hopefully, a few will be ideal.

Apart from the obvious starters such as honeysuckle, lilac (pictured) and several viburnums and mahonias, there are the likes of the butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii, Clethra ainifolia, Choisya ternata, Cytisus battandie, the unusually-perfumed Ribes odoratum (definitely not to everyone’s taste), Chimonanthus praecox, lavenders and, of course all those wonderful roses.

Shrubs which rely on foliage rather than flowers include Laurus nobilis, Caryopteris clandonensis and Phlomis fruticosa.

There are quite a lot of herbs more than happy to be offered a home in a south-facing; and, of course, many are useful in the kitchen, so there’s food for thought.