The Scents of Summer
My garden was recently in our local library’s yearly Garden Tour and one of the plants I have in my garden that I thought would get the most attention, did. It is a very unusual plant but it’s most appealing habit is its scent. Summer always evokes in me the memories of scents, newly cut grass, the sweet smell of clover, BBQ’s ( although we are talking gardens here, there is nothing better than the smell of cooking food!), lilacs, roses, flowering trees, etc. It seems to me that although we cannot always remember the names of different plants we always seem to remember the smell. So I thought I would do my first gardening article on the scented plants that have been wafting their scents through my garden for many years.
The plant I was describing above, Rainbow Loveliness Dianthus, has frilly, large, fragrant blooms all summer and comes in a wide range of colours. It, like the “Cottage Pink” (that other old favorite), sometimes is a perennial and sometimes not. I have not planted either in my garden for years but they reseed prolifically and pop up everywhere. Both can be found at Burpee Seeds, www.burpee.com, or The Cottage Gardner, www.cottagegardner.com.
Lilies are fabulous in our gardens, coming in great varieties of colour and form. My favorites for scent are the Oriental Lilies, not always hardy in our zone, but worth having even just one or two plants. Stargazer, Casa Blanca, and Golden Star Gazer, to name just a few, bloom usually in August and are spectacular to see and smell. Vesey’s Bulbs, www.veseys.com, T & T Seeds, www.ttseeds.com both sell many types of lilies.
I am also a great fan of Peonies. Most types seem to be fragrant with the old fashioned garden ones, those that have been passed down for years, their names forgotten, probably the most fragrant. A great mail order company for peonies, where I have purchased many over the years, is Ferncliff Gardens www.ferncliffgardens.com.
Lilacs, Roses, Honeysuckles, Fruit trees and Ornamental Trees all contribute to the enjoyment of our gardens by their beauty and the scent of their flowers. Roses, especially the Old Gallica Roses, like the Apothecary Rose, Roserie de la Hay and the Alba Roses, are highly perfumed. David Austen Roses are also wonderfully scented, but not hardy. I often spoil myself and buy a David Austin Rose and put it in a pot for the summer, just to enjoy it. A great website, to even get just information on roses is the Old Rose Nursery, www.oldrosenursery.com .
Of course, there are also many annual flowers that we can grow and enjoy for the season. Evening Scented Stocks, (Mathiola) while not the most attractive looking plant, when planted in a pot by an open doorway or window, live up to their name and release a heavenly perfume in the evening. Lavender, nasturtiums, nicotiana’s, herbs and many more that are common in our gardens reward us with their beauty and scents.
I hope you enjoyed my first Gardening Thyme article and will look forward to monthly gardening tips on The BCWI website. If you have gardening questions or just want to let me know what you think you can leave a comment. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next Gardening Thyme!
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