The Scented Garden Ilona Erwin May 22, 2004 No Comment

It is the time of roses and peonies, two of the most beautifully redolent scents of my late spring garden. These are old fashioned plants, the roses are the varieties William Baffin, Zepherine Drouhin, Therese Bugnet. The Oenothera speciosa and veronicas are blooming, as well. The veronicas are puny this year. Due to so much rain and so little sun, although the fact that I am only now weeding out the perennial garden probably has something to do with it, too. Veronicas like sun and dislike crowding I think. They always do best for me in their first couple years... then, even though I divide them, they pout.

It has been thunderstorming so much that I am sure that everything I am replanting at this time will root and get established. The down side is that the fields are mille-lakes. My own garden is wet, but not ponded. I have been working it anyway.

I decided to circle the Prairie Fire crab with Annabelle hydrangeas. It is situated front and center of the driveway. I feel the Annabelle is obscenely flamboyant when in full bloom, so a sideshow is distracting. Center stage suits this shrubby plant much better, and I think it will contrast nicely with the purplish leaves of the crabapple. If not, I will rip it all out in a couple years. This year I had to get it away from the Hinoki Cypress, which is a choice and expensive evergreen. Annabelle just crowded into it and hung all over it. No shame whatsoever. So -with the help of my son- , I mercilessly dug out enough to surround the new tree in the driveway.

It all works out.


I should add a little something about the Heckrotti honeysuckle vine. It is blooming on the arbor now, the best it's looked in years. I had a vine on the porch at the other house, where it always was sickly, although the flowers are beautiful two-tone when blooming. This year, it has finally come into its own and outshines the Jackmani clematis which is on the other side. I have a Belgica on the house trellis, but that blooms later. Honeysuckle smells lovely, but it does draw bumble bees. Just be warned.

I have many plants that mingle their scents and create a wonderful atmosphere. It always brightens my mood to smell certain plants. The lavenders are ready to bloom, but as I was weeding around them that was enough to lift my spirit.

Unless I find some in the nursery, I will have to do without Heliotrope this year. I was going to save it from the frost last year, but..... just one more of those things I didn't get to. Now I am really sorry. Heliotrope is non pareil for summer sweet fragrance.

by Ilona Erwin

A gardener, blogger, writer, who has been blogging here since 2004, and writing for my website, Ilona's Garden since 1998.

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