Scented lilacs

Some of the smaller-flowered lilacs have an exceptional scent that captures the freshness of late-spring and early summer. Their bright-green foliage and their twiggy habit make them especially perfect for smaller gardens. The flower heads may be smaller than those of the showy Common lilac, Syringa vulgaris,  but their exquisite scent and elegantly tubed flowers, which almost always open from darker buds, make them good garden plants. The diminutive Korean lilac, Syringa meyeri 'Palibin', is a slow-growing twiggy lilac which produces masses of lilac-pink flowers. It’s an excellent container plant. The daphne lilac, Syringa pubescens subsp. microphylla 'Superba' has a heady scent and large clusters of rose-pink flowers that stand out well against the small dark-green leaves that also give it the name of the little-leaf lilac. Careful pruning after flowering will keep it tidier.

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