Ah, the Perfumed Air of Late Spring ….

While I am primarily a vegetable gardener who plants a few flowers for cutting, if I had more space, I might plant for scent as well.  My first post on this blog last August mentioned the scented air of summer in Arlington and the effect humidity had on spreading the scents around.  Well, it’s that time of year again.

The sweet smelling hollies have blossomed and the more spectacular flowering trees and bushes have spread their pollen through the air.  Now it’s time for the sweet citrus-like scent of magnolia blossoms.

Magnolia Grandiflora: a visual and olfactory treat.

If you’ve never buried your nose in one of these big creamy flowers, I highly recommend it.  The blossoms are lovely, soft, and waft their scent through the air from high up in the tree.  I often smell them before I notice the blossoms.

Another sweet tangy blossom spreading its scent through the air is the rose of sharon.  I’d been noticing the smell for days as I walked by the bush and finally stopped today to determine if it was coming from  this flower.  It was, and with a whole bush full of the blossoms, the scent wafts about on the path in back of my building, giving a little olfactory pleasure to passers-by.

Sometimes I don’t associate a scent with particular flowers, but I’m learning.

Although I love the little pockets of scents carried on summer’s humid air, I also like color.  Last night, I was at a party at a friend’s house and his yard had the most stunningly electric blue hydrangea I had ever seen.  And these lilies in my own courtyard lend their own cheerful color.  Gardening is so varied in the beauty it gives us–whether form, color, scent, or taste–that its possibilities are endless. There’s always another avenue, another clearing in the distance, another scent to investigate or fresh crop to sample.

This hydrangea, not my friend’s blue one, is in my courtyard.

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