Friday, August 12, 2016
Super Sweet Scents Of Summer
Daylilies hold a great deal of space in our gardens now and are likely to expand their holdings next year. Fragrant flowers with ruffled edges are personal favorites. Mid morning walks focused on snapping off yesterday's spent flowers are made pleasant by the sweet scents of the newly opened flowers. The first round of blossoms are coming to an end. We will enjoy some re-blooming but those flowers will be few in number here.
The plant in the portrait is an unnamed variety that was included as a free gift. It has so many favorable characteristics that it is hard to understand why it remains a cast off. Its white petals are tinged in yellow near the green throat but the plant is tall, hardy, scented and produces many flowers over a long period of time. Divisions of the original plant have been placed in the garden down by the road. This remains high among our favorites despite its humble origin.
Oriental lilies still hold places in our garden despite their preference for warmer climates. Pollen stains and a petal knocked free by the weeder mar the visual presentation of this Muscadet but its scent fills the area. Working near this plant is incredibly pleasant even when the wind blows from the neighboring cow barn!. This is its first year in our garden. We hope that next year the blossoms will be closer to the height of our noses. We can still bend over but going down on one knee is now an issue.
Casa Blanca's are also in their first year here. Simplons had held this spot for several seasons but disappeared after I separated their huge bulbs. They were also a white flowered lily that had exceeded six feet in height. We hope that the new variety attains taller growth next year. These flowers are also huge and sweetly scented but we would like the plants to be taller.
The nearby purple Heliotrope also features a pleasant aroma. The only negative is its nearness to the ground. One must assume the position of a prayerful bow to enjoy this beauty.
Summer sweet continues to fill the area around the garden with its aroma and cover the wall with spent flowers. Out early this morning to try and get some work done before the heat knocked me out, I found a honey bee sleeping among its flowers. I know that she was sleeping rather than dead since she moved when another bee already at work walked across her. That was when she awakened, moved and started to work the flowers.
A summer sweet sucker plant is visible on the near side of the stone wall. All that can be done is to cut off the new growth year after year. These suckers will continue to appear long after I am no longer working here. The nearby milkweeds are another testimony to my inability to ruthlessly garden. Milkweed roots run deep and long. They are impossible to remove so why do I allow them to grow in the garden? Someone's fascination with butterflies and caterpillars is at the root of this dilemma!
Speaking of milkweed, I do mow a large area of wild given over to this important plant. The plants continue to regrow after each mowing. My purpose in repeated mowing is to supply tender new leaves favored by Monarch butterfly caterpillars. The wild leaves are tough and falling now but the Monarchs need them as a food source. Another bonus to me is late milkweed flowers. Their scent is sweet beyond description and I get a second chance to enjoy them.