Homegrown perfume factory

March 1st, 2012 Posted in Insects, bees, bulbs, garden design, native plants, passalong plants, roses, trees, wildlife

Right now, my garden is a perfume factory working overtime. Mountain laurel blossoms mingle with the sweetness of bridal-gowned Mexican plum.

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta

Beneficial insects swoop between them and ‘Spring Bouquet’ viburnums.

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta
As I pruned ‘Maggie’ at last, I had to stop now and then to “smell the roses.”

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta
Narcissus ‘Falconet’ beckons a tête-à-tête to catch a gentle whiff.

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta
I have to get even closer to catch the scent of spring starflowers (Ipheion uniflorum) and the few grape hyacinths I have. These are actually Muscari, though I have no clue which one.

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta
White summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) and the flowers of silver bush germander (Teucrium fruticans) are too subtle for my allergy-stricken nose, but they sure are pretty.

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta

Here’s a wider shot that includes snapdragons, the first I’ve planted in years. I’m loving it!

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta

Perennial Scotty’s Surprise oxalis (discovered by Scott Ogden) and winter annual snapdragons appeal more to the eye than to the nose.

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta

This bed is more structural than fragrant, with young pine muhly (Muhlenbergia dubia), shrimp plant, Yucca ‘Margaritaville’, pink skullcap, dwarf Jerusalem sage, purple heart, heartleaf skullcap, and winter annual stocks.

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta

Still, the Jerusalem sage has a slight sage-y scent, and the stocks are nose-stoppers!

(c) Linda Lehmusvirta

Sadly, the 89° last week means that my stock of stocks is about to run out. Fun while it lasted! In April, I think I’m going to install Texas Superstar angelonias in their place.

Event of the week: The First Austin African Violet Society hosts its 44th judged show and sale “African Violets and Other Wonders of the World” on March 17 and 18 at Zilker Botanical Garden. Guaranteed to make your indoor garden as glamorous as the one outside!

See you next week, Linda

  1. 14 Responses to “Homegrown perfume factory”

  2. By Bob Beyer on Mar 1, 2012

    I have 3 citrus plants in containers in the greenhouse that are blooming like crazy ( and setting fruit), the fragrance of which hits me the moment I walk in . What a sweet surprise. I could just stay in the GH and overdose on it all day long! The Mountain Laurel is having a banner season everywhere it seems.

    Reply

    Linda reply on March 2nd, 2012 3:59 pm:

    Oh, I can just imagine! Reminds me, need to add some citrus. The bonus after all that fragrance is such delicious fruit!

    Reply

  3. By Madeleine Watt on Mar 2, 2012

    Oh these pics stir very fond memories. I hope something remains of my native plant garden in Wells Branch! Thank you for sharing! It is not Spring here in the Appalachian Mts. although the very first daffodils are opening. We will probably get more snow.

    Reply

    Linda reply on March 2nd, 2012 3:59 pm:

    I do envy you! I would love to see daffodils opening in the snow!

    Reply

  4. By jenny on Mar 2, 2012

    Can this really be March2? What a spring show you are having. I wonder what we will all look like by May.

    Reply

    Linda reply on March 2nd, 2012 3:58 pm:

    I know! My garden is like a technicolor movie right now. I wonder what it’ll all look like by April!

    Reply

  5. By Nell Jean on Mar 2, 2012

    As we move into spring, the garden smells better and better, doesn’t it?

    Reply

    Linda reply on March 4th, 2012 4:48 pm:

    Hi, Nell Jean! Great to hear from you. Yes, I wish I could bottle up the garden and open it when it’s 105 again! Linda

    Reply

  6. By Ally on Mar 2, 2012

    Love the Angelonias. I plant them every year. I’ll make it point to look the for the Texas Superstar. Sounds like a winner.

    Reply

    Linda reply on March 4th, 2012 4:47 pm:

    Hi, Ally! Well, it is a Super star. I just saw them last year–where have I been? Yes indeed, I plan to add lots in mid-April. Thanks for checking in! Linda

    Reply

  7. By Joann Sowell on Mar 3, 2012

    Is the stock you showed an annual or does it reseed or come back from the roots? It is so lovely and I have never grown it. Where is it found? My mountain laurel makes me almost drunk it is just so delicious and the bumble bees are the same.. drunk on fragran ce. thanks for a nice newsletter. js

    Reply

    Linda reply on March 4th, 2012 4:46 pm:

    Hi, Joann! It is an annual. Perhaps it will reseed for others but I know it won’t in my garden. They are a cool weather annual. Next November, you’ll see them at every nursery and box store. They absolutely don’t like these hot days, but are just outstanding in fragrance while they last. I agree; the mountain laurels are a treasure for us and the butterflies, bees, and others stopping by. Thanks for writing! Linda

    Reply

  8. By Tina on Mar 4, 2012

    All the photos are lovely and you have so much color. I especially like the little summer snowflakes. I’ve never grown those, but I just think they’re so cute. Spring is most definitely arrived in sunny Austin.

    Reply

    Linda reply on March 5th, 2012 3:48 pm:

    Hi, Tina! They are easy as pie. Yes, spring has come to Austin–hope it lasts for awhile.

    Reply

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