Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Fragrance and Mirth
Time spent in the garden today makes one feel wealthy beyond measure. Sweet fragrance from multiple sources makes late May days here special. Dame's rocket, Hesperis matronalis, is a common weed, an escape from colonial gardens. Arctic hardiness makes it a survivor. I allow it to grow in the garden because of its sweet scent. Morning finds it nearly scentless but by afternoon the air is filled with sweetness.
Black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia, is a common weed tree here. Natural rot resistance makes it an excellent choice for fence posts. Twisting grain and thorns limit commercial value but its flowers are a treasure. Locust is frost sensitive. It is one of the last trees to leaf out and a late frost decimates the buds. Flowers one year in five are all one can hope for. This year we are three weeks past our last frost so locust flowers cover the trees. Their scent floats on the breeze filling the garden.
A Rugosa rose carries a massive load of familiar scent. We need to become better stewards of this plant. It marches on despite our neglect. Perhaps next year will find it growing in the garden rather than in a stone path.
Lemon lily, L.lilioasphodelus, has a long history of cultivation. Color alone would make it an excellent garden subject. Its fragrance is sweet beyond description. We find the plant hardy but not the flower buds. Most years we lose the buds to frost but this year the lemon lily is putting on quite a show. These sweet smelling days in the garden are treasured by us. We can easily put aside the lengthy list of things needing planting and beds needing weeded to find a moment to enjoy the scents surrounding us.