I often mention that the garden has a will of its own and bends the intent of landscape design to seasonal whimsy. Last year it decided to take on a cool look in white and green right at the end of August when flower beds traditionally boast bright oranges, yellows and fiery reds.

The Plantain or August lily takes on a prominent role in August and I am thrilled to have planted some that are fragrant. Their flowers smell like lilies and lily of the valley, with just a little magnolia scent blended in. I don't think most people think of hostas as fragrant flowers because most varieties aren't, but when they are scented they can compete with the roses.

I have a full shade garden now, filled with foam flowers, bugbane, sweet woodruff, lily of the valley and yes, lots of hostas. Joy of joys, last year I found and adopted two toad lilies whose orchid like polka-dotted purple flowers bloom at the beginning of November.

Fragrant hostas punctuate the path to my front door, pendulous trumpets scenting the air, it looks like I finally found what will bloom against a north foundation wall in full shade.

A full shade perennial garden in bloom is the Holy Grail of gardening, often coveted but rarely achieved. If it grows it doesn't bloom, if it blooms it doesn't smell, if both come true it can't tolerate draught and it becomes a monument to high maintenance. And then again, sometimes it just comes together effortlessly to spoil you with fragrant white flowers as you walk to your door.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.