This article contains affiliate links
Garden patios are the perfect places to relax and have memorable gatherings with friends and family.
As well as spending money on landscaping services there are many ways to make our gardens special. Typically we focus on garden decor such as furniture, ornaments and water features.
However there are many other ways to excite the senses and create a mood provoking environment. One of those senses is smell, gardens and patios can smell any sense you want them to!
This can be perfect for gatherings with specific themes or just because you love a specific scent. There are a few ways of making your garden patio smell good and we have listed 14 ways here.
1. Locate any bad smells
If you want your garden patio to smell good you must eliminate any existing bad odours. Walk around your garden and have a careful sniff at all areas.
Try to locate any sources of bad odours and eradicate them. Most of the time this involves giving areas a thorough clean and getting rid of old, absorbent materials.
Get someone not used to your garden to see what it smells like. It’s typical for people to get so used to their own environment they don’t notice bad aromas.
2. Give drains and gutters a clean
The most effective way to ensure a nice smelling patio is by cleaning gutters and drains. Sometimes gutters become so clogged with leaves they hold standing water which becomes stagnant.
This can pour down walls during heavy rain causing the whole area to stink. Try and keep these clear of leaves and clean down walls with disinfectant.
Lift manhole covers and drain covers and give them a good clean. It’s amazing how much better patios can smell after such a treatment.
3. Seal patios and walls
Most gardens have some sort of masonry with patios and walls being the most typical. These materials typically have porous surfaces and can absorb moisture.
This also means they can absorb spilt drinks and food which over time can begin to smell.
Such surfaces can also become very damp leading to algae blooms and breeding bacteria.
The best way to resolve this is waiting for warm, summer weather and pressure washing all surfaces. Then scrub with a good disinfectant and pressure wash again.
Wait for the surfaces to fully dry and seal with a good quality masonry sealer like Patio Seal. This will stop moisture and bad smells penetrating walls paths and patios. Such sealants will also help to visually enhance surfaces and make them last longer.
4. Improve your gardens drainage
One of the best ways to eliminate bad odours in the garden is by improving gardens drainage. Continuously wet garden surfaces and flower borders can cause damp and stagnant conditions.
If your garden experiences seasonal flooding and smells it’s possible the two are related. Patios which are often lower than the rest of the garden become green and smelly. The first step to improving this is by improving outdoor drainage.
This can be done by turning over flower beds, drainage channels and soakaways. If you need help diagnosing a garden drainage issue read our article on the subject here.
5. Scrub patios with scented cleaners
To ensure a great smelling patio for a special occasion is by scrubbing it with a scented soap cleaner. Scrub the surface well to get off any dirt and to all the scent to penetrate the surface.
Be sure to use a biological cleaner so no harmful chemicals make contact with wildlife. Then give the surfaces a good rinse or pressure wash before the occasion.
6. Improve sunlight
Shady parts of the garden are more likely to smell bad than sunny areas. Dark, shady areas are more prone to nooks and crannies where odours can develop.
Direct sunlight can have a cleansing effect helping to kill microbes and bacteria. Sunlight also helps to dry out surfaces and the soil quicker reducing the risk of smells.
To improve sunlight trim over hanging trees and dense plantings. You can also choose brightly coloured materials when landscaping to reflect available UV light.
A very quick and effective way to make garden patios smell great is with incense. These slow burning sticks are wonderfully fragrant and come in a whole range of aromas. First used by the ancient Chinese they are easy to source and very affordable.
For garden patios it is effective to burn a few inside an incense diffuser. These can release the aromas slowly in breezy conditions and be very decorative.
8. Scented candles
When it comes to scented candles there are simply so many on the market. This means they are an effective choice if you have a specific sent in mind for outside.
Scented candles can be set up all around the patio creating an enchanting atmosphere. If you have a particular problem with mosquitoes there are citronella scented candles.
These are specifically designed to keep biting insects away in the evening. They also smell amazing too, we have link to some onAmazon here.
9. Grow scented plants
Probably the most exciting way to make your patio smell nice is with scented plants. There are many flowering climbers and shrubs which will release scent at different times of the calendar.
Some of the best for summer are jasmine, star jasmine, Lilies, Honeysuckle, Philadelphus and Nicotiana. A quick web search will reveal the best scented varieties for different times of the year.
10. Plant herbs
Herbs are some of the most useful plants on the planet! Not only can they be used to flavour food they can be brewed into teas and possess medicinal qualities.
Their aromatic foliage can be the perfect way to fill the air with aromatic scent. Herbs such as lemon balm and mint can be planted next to patios and seating areas.
Small creeping herbs such as thyme can even be planted into surfaces which release fragrance when walked upon.
11. Improve shelter
Improving shelter around your seating areas is a sure way to improve the enjoyment of pleasant scents. This can be achieved by erecting tall, secure, boundaries and hedging.
Decorative pergolas can be built over patio areas to reduce breeze and concentrate scents. Improving a gardens shelter can also prevent bad smells entering from other locations.
12. Start smoking food
Smokers are enclosed units which allow you to smoke foods such as meat and fish. With some ingenuity garden smoking cabinets can be built and used to smoke and dry homemade delicacies.
The great thing about smokers is they smoke over long periods releasing subtle aromas as they smoulder. This can be a great way to add exciting scents to the patio and provoke a healthy appetite.
13. Install a garden oven
Outside oven cooking is not a pursuit many garden owners comprehend is even an option to them.
However cooking in outdoor ovens has been practiced for thousands of years and is still popular in the Mediterranean.
Outside ovens can be a fantastic way to cook pizzas and slow cook stews over night. What better way to make your garden patio smell nice and impress your friends at the same time!
14. Cook with tagines
Tagines are a fantastic and theatrical way to cook in the garden. These small, clay, cooking vessels come with a deep dish and cone shaped lid.
Meat stews and vegetable dishes can be added to the sealed pots for cooking over charcoal. The tagines can be placed over clay majmars which hold glowing charcoal. The majmar and tagine look amazing together as the charcoal illuminates the clay pot.
As the food cooks slowly aromas of steam and smoke fill the air which is heavenly! These are even better used for Arabic or Moroccan themed events.
Thank you for reading our article on how to make your garden patio smell good. Did it help with your search? Do you know someone who needs a better smelling garden? If so why not share it with them via the buttons below? Thank you!
'As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases'
Paul Nicolaides has over 30 years of recreational gardening and 20 years of professional landscaping experience. He has worked for landscape contractors including design and build practices across London and the South East. In 2006 he qualified with a BA Hons degree and post graduate diploma in Landscape Architecture. In 2009 he founded Ecospaces an ecological landscaping practice which aims to improve social cohesion and reduce climate change through landscaping. In 2016 he founded Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners which designs and builds gardens across Buckinghamshire and the South East. This blog aims to provide easy problem solving information to its audience and encourage others to take up the joy of landscaping and gardening.