Monday, May 3, 2010

Fragrance in the Garden

As I take my morning walk through the back garden to check on the ripening of the grape tomatoes, fragrance is in the air. 

Japanese Honeysuckle, lonicera japonica,  gives off the sweetest perfume which is why I bought this plant on purpose without knowing its invasiveness.   I haven't had a problem with it being overly agressive yet as I just bought it in April.  I understand from reading, after the purchase, that it is spread by the berries it produces.  So, it probably will be pulled and replaced.  Probably.  Oh, I hate this.  Maybe I will just quit reading up on plants, or maybe I will only buy plants I have read about and know what to expect.

Jasminum nitidum, Angelwing jasmine, grows as a shrub at My Garden Path.  These flowers are lightly scented, not as strong as some other jasmines.  It usually makes it through our winters but this year it is starting fresh from the roots.  This is the cover for one of the rain barrels so I hope it grows fast!

Of course, my lovely roses are full of sweet, fragrant blooms that flavor my morning walk-through with delight.

The African Blue Basil is just starting to bloom.  I keep this in a pot so I can protect it in winter.  It is perennial but not at all cold tolerant.  Does it ever smell wonderful even with just a few beginning blooms! The leaves have a fragrance just as other basils do but it's the flowers that really put out the fragrance. 

Lovely Mirabilis jalapa, known as four o'clocks because of the timing of the opening of their blooms, greet me along My Garden Path at 9 o'clock AM.  My plants are as mixed up as their caretaker can be, I guess. 

There are several fragrantly blooming shrubs in my garden.  These have all been added just this spring.

Osmanthus fragrans, Tea Olive has flushed with blooms for a second time since being planted.

The Sweet Almond bush, Aloysia virgata, is blooming in dappled shade even though it is supposed to like full sun.  I'm hoping it will be happy here as I really don't have a large area for it anywhere else.  I really want to put a bench or chair here so I can enjoy the vanilla almond scent while watching the grands at play. 

These buds haven't opened and released their fragrance yet, but I  wanted to include this lovely native shrub in this post.  Simpson's Stopper, Myrcianthes fragrans, is growing in semi-shade in my boggy area.  So far, it seems like a happy shrub.  This shrub is actually very pretty and is a great wildlife attractor.  Plans are for more of this shrub to be planted along the fenceline in this area. 

Oh!  I almost forgot the grape tomatoes!  There are just enough ripe ones to use for a salad tonight.  These are the first ones ready.  I'm hoping they will stand up to the heat that's already here and keep producing.  It seems that this might be a short tomato season for me.


  1. Oh, NanaK: When yesterday working in the garden, with the wonderful smell of gradenia and Jasmine I have in my garden, I almost thought about a post with almost exact the same subject! Great minds do think alike :)

    With all those fragrance, your garden must smell so good, I won't want to leave it :) I so envy that you have Osmanthus fragrans in your garden. That is the one I always wanted since it reminds me of lots of my childhood memory, but it is not suitable for zone10 garden.

    Oh, I bought two new fragrant plants over the weekend, Cornutia Grandifolia (Tropical Lilac) and Augusta rivalis (Needle Flower). Will make some post of them when they flower.

  2. You have a great collection of fragrant plants blooming now! I grow my Japanese Honeysuckle in a screening border along the edge of my property where it is free to twine among the branches and bloom profusely. Mine never sets any seed (or at least I've never seen any) so maybe you won't have to worry about that.

  3. What a wonderful collection of fragrant plants you have. The Japanese honeysuckle looks great and I'd love to be able to smell it. I've got at least 6 different jasmines, plus roses, and other scented blooms that fill the air with their scents.

    I've never smelled Tea Olive blooms or the Sweet Almond. I love scented plants.

    Enjoy the beauty that is surrounding you.


  4. You do have a lot of fragrances going on in your garden. All that I have here is two large Gardenia bushes that scent the air when they bloom.

  5. Ami - I would love to see your new plants when they bloom. I'm not familiar with either of them. I really made an effort to include fragrant plants when I was looking for cold-hardy replacements for some of my winter wimps. I guess tea olive can't take the heat of South Florida?

    Grower Jim - Good to hear about your honeysuckle not setting seed. I think I'll 'wait and see' on mine. I do love the look and the scent very much AND it is cold hardy.

    FlowerLady - 6 different jasmines and your roses must make quite a lovely statement in your garden. My 2 roses have been blooming enough that I can smell them when I'm outside and that is soooo nice.

    sanddune - I just purchased a gardenia made into a standard. Actually, I bought it for my daughter's home because she has the perfect spot by her front entrance. Somehow an extra one made it to my house. I'm hoping I can give it enough light to do well. I love the scent and it really travels throughout the yard.

  6. Hi Kay...I just put that African Blue Basil on my "must have" list. Where did you get it? It is soooo pretty and sounds like a great plant. My mom used to have 4 o'clocks in her garden...I bought seeds but haven't planted them yet. I guess I better get busy. Your blooms on the Simpson Stopper are ahead of mine, as are your tomatoes. My Stopper is in a wet area too and I love it...pretty white flowers and red berries. The birds devoured them. What day did you go to Bok Gardens last week? I was there on Friday morning. Did you buy any plants in their nursery?

  7. Susan - I went to Bok 4/24 and it was beautiful. I'm so glad we went before the weather turned so HOT. Yes, I complain about HOT and COLD:) Bok is where I got the African Blue Basil. I never see it anywhere so I snapped up one for me and one for a friend. The one I had from last year is barely hanging on after the cold weather. Definitely needs to be in a pot and protected.

  8. I can just imagine walking down your garden path and being greeted by those beautiful scents!

  9. love your post on fragrant flowers. I am crazy about fragrance and jasmine nitidum and sweet almond bush are one of my most favorite plants. did you try jasminum azoricum called indian juhi?

  10. Floridagirl - I'm loving walking outside in the mornings lately.

    Muhammad Khabbab - I've not heard of this jasmin before. I looked it up and it seems very nice but I wonder if it would hold up to our cold weather. I found it listed as zone 10 and 11. I'm in zone 9. I'll keep my eye out for it though. Does it bloom all season or just one time?


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.