Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fragrant Flowers

Along with their usefulness, fragrance was a quality that attracted me to herbs. In addition to herbs, we offer fragrant, old-fashioned ornamental plants. Fragrance adds another dimension to your garden along with flowers, color, form and texture. Think about adding one or more of these plants to your garden to enjoy.

Nicotiana – or flowering tobacco is fragrant at night. This is the plant's mechanism to attract particular pollinators. White, tubular flowers rise on 24"-30" stems. The annual flowers are sweetly fragrant and usually reseed readily.

Moonflower – is a white, fragrant, night-blooming morning glory. It's an annual vine that needs a post, fence or trellis to climb. The large, white blooms unfurl slowly at dusk. Both moonflower and ruicotiana are wonderful planted next to a seating area you enjoy in the evening.

Dianthus – The perennial dianthus we offer goes by the common name clove pink. The name describes well the spicy-sweet fragrance emitted by the single pink and/or white flowers. Flowers bloom in spring and are about 12" tall. Plant in front of a bed or along a walk so you can enjoy their fragrance. There are many varieties of dianthus, but often hybrids are not fragrant.

Heliotrope– It's old-fashioned name is cherry pie plant. To me, it's more of a sweetly vanilla-like aroma, but it's certainly fragrant. Dark purple flowers top 12" annual plants. Very nice in a sunny container near a seating area.

Jasmine – Jasmine's sweetly fragrant flowers bloom in summer. Sources say jasmine isn't hardy here, but ours has survived outside since we had the farm. The jasmine on the sides of the pergola is five years old. Consider it a woody, perennial vine and give it something substantial to climb. Attractive cut foliage succeeded by sweet, star-shaped flowers.

Catmint – Catmint is often mistaken for lavender when in bloom since it has similar, spikey purple flowers. But it's the foliage that's truly fragrant. The scent isn't floral, but more in the minty vein. Catmint makes a great border or edging plant since it spreads easily, but is not invasive. It produces the same look as lavender, but it's a much more tolerant plant.

Valerian – Sometimes called garden heliotrope, but very different in appearance. Valerian has tall (36"+) flower stalks with pinkish-white blooms. Like heliotrope, it's flowers are made up of multiple florets. The fragrance is clean and musky, rather than floral. Valerian is a perennial, which increases in size, so place it at the back of bed or border.

No comments: