Thursday, July 6, 2017

Good Smells

 I love fragrant plants. Viburnum,  lily of the valley, honeysuckle, rosemary, lemon balm --- these are just a few that perfume our air over the seasons. Some of my day lilies are fragrant, as are some of the spring bulbs. Even the awful invasive multiflora rose smells wonderful.

Lavender may be my favorite though. I lust after those lavender borders in English gardens -- and have tried over and over to grow one here. Too cold in winter, perhaps. I've had plants survive outdoors for several years only to be felled by a treacherous dip in the temperatures. Now I have two pots of lavender that winter in the greenhouse -- better than nothing and  I've hung this little bunch at the bedside where I can smell it as I go to sleep. 

Gardenia is another intoxicating scent. This potted gardenia sits by our front door and is blooming like mad. (It, too spends the winter in the green house.) Its fragrance wafts into the house  every time the door is opened.

When John and I were dating in high school, I acquired some Jungle Gardenia perfume (said, at the time, to be Elizabeth Taylor's favorite.) Well, I was no Elizabeth Taylor but I applied the perfume liberally, hoping, I guess, to amp up my allure quotient.

A few minutes in the car as we drove to the movie theater were all it took. John lowered all the windows and kept his nose close to the fresh air so he could breathe. So much for allure.

The spicy scent of Stargazer Lilies is another of my favorites and a few years ago I bought a bulb of a Double Stargazer -- hoping, perhaps, for increased aroma.  This is the first year it's bloomed and now I know that Less can, indeed, be More. The double doesn't smell as strong as the classic single -- and I find that while this explosion of petals in interesting and pretty, it also strikes me as a little unsettling and confusing.. 

It's thriving though, evidently receiving just the right amount of sun and water. So now I need to plant some Single Stargazers in the same bed and wait till next year to be bowled over by the fragrance.


KarenB said...

I wonder what's happening with your lavender? I have several plants here that are doing well and we get both hotter and colder than you do. Unfortunately, I don't know the variety as I bought them from a high school fundraiser.

Vicki Lane said...

Well, hell! I'm going to have to try again. Maybe I wasn't holding my mouth right when I planted them before. I did have an English lavender survive for quite a few years once. Hmm.

Barbara Rogers said...

This year I've got several lavenders in pots...which reminds me they are needing bigger pots soon. No flowers yet however...they are still babies. I'll have to do with the essential oil of same. My love of scent right now is from bunches of mint, lemon balm, and basil which are just cut and sitting in water...of course I have to touch them to smell them. Oh I do remember trying to be alluring with gardenia scented toilet water! Scent is one of our first and last senses...glad when it works for me!

katy gilmore said...

Love this - lavender central where I live, farmers grow fields of it. I love it for everything including its appeal to bees!