The scents of Summer

This morning as I slipped out the door leaving Rose and Sugar inside the house to jump into the car and go careening down the dead end paved road and up the winding road to work to start watering all the plants at Lowes that I can in 5 hours, I stopped dead in my tracks and listened and smelled. Yesterday's scrubbing deluge of five inches of rains with accompanying ozone releasing lightening has given the whole ridge top a moist, earthy smell. There is no way to describe it, but anyone who gardens and who has to suppliment the rainfalls of plants with their own moisture will tell you it's emblazed into their memory. They have determined that most "deja vu" experiences are triggered by familiar smells that envoke the memories. I can attest to that one.
But as I stood there in the driveway next to the car, I started sorting out the smells. I looked at my watch and saw that I had five minutes to spare before I HAD to leave to get to work on time. I slowly walked back behind the car towards what I knew was one of the aeroma's tickling my nose. The Harlequin Glory Bower had started setting buds last week much to my dismay but if I hadn't been so distracted and had stuck to at least partial entries in my journal I would have seen that it was actually TIME for this limbed up bush/tree to do it's thing for me here.
The leaves smell like peanut butter. An aeroma that was brought to my attention after reading it in either Horticulture, Fine Gardening or Garden Design. I can't remember and I ain't nit picking. Just that someone identified the thick smell to me is gratitude enough. Once I read it, I ran out and ran my hands over the leaves and sure enough, once mysterious smells were revealed to me as childhood and present day comfort smells.
The rains had locked the smell of the peanut butter inside the leaves again, and last nights cooler temperatures helped, but nothing could mask the unmistakable fragrance of something close to vanilla. There seem to be quite a few flowers I grow that come close to either vanilla or warm honey around in the fairy beds. The creamy stars were popping open and releasing their enticing smells of vanilla that almost dripped off the flowers, and in testimony to it's enticements, I discovered in the pre dawn light that a bumble bee had fallen asleep on one open flower and was immersed in it's perfumes.
Thru the smell of the newly opening Glory bower blossoms, cut thru a most floral and amazing perfume that was unmistakable. I am gifted in that I appreciate the delicate but strong perfumes of trumpet lilies and some of the fragrant orientals. But I had forgotten that I had planted a Regale lily over in the NSSG (not so secret garden to anyone unfamiliar with me or newbie) and this year it has wowed me by producing it's first three blossoms. So heavy they needed to be drapped over the pink butterfly bush I plugged in next to the varigated dogwoods and near the emerging remnants of Kerria japonica 'flora pleno' that had totally dissappeared on me three years prior. I still miss it. Given a few years it will come back and I will have one heck of a bush critter. I wonder if the Kerria and Butterfly will co-exist? I hope so. How wonderful would that be? A buttery yellow double buttered popcorn bush in early spring loaded with those flowers, and later on, pink flowers that are almost two foot in length that smell of warm honey that will bloom long after the japonica is thru with sporatic spots of yellow blossoms on and off all summer. I so hope it will.........updates later if it fails or succeeds.
Back to my quick but intense summer scents encounters. The Regale lily was unmistakeable, and I realized that among my olfactory experiences as I walked outside, the first one actually was the pink butterfly bush and the Regale lily.
The other familiar and comforting smell now is the night scents of my yellow and magenta 4 o'clocks that I thin out each year but not totally. I will always have 4's if I can help it. It's as common of a scent for summer as some think roses are.
Other fragrances that I mentally noted but didn't follow thru with because I knew time flew by when enraptured by the fairies and the flowers is the minty smell of the bee balm that struggled thru the invasive Korean spirea that is intent on taking the eastern end of the raised gardens. I will remove half of it this fall when everyone is finished. It will be less cruel and will recover in time for next spring's arrival. I have lost the "butterfly" white lilies I've loved for so long because of this sprawling and eating of soil bush. Beautiful as it is, I can't allow it full lead anymore. It will have to learn dicipline and boundaries.
There are other pungent smells as I would have worked myself thru the tangle of plants and jungle towards those three lilies, like the Blue Egnima salvia absolutely smells of sage. As does the Bog sage that draps itself over the electric pink asters that have been blooming now since first week of July, way way too early.
When I make my way down the steep slope to the cleared woods spot where I planted the Yoshino cherry tree and the Twisted Filbert, the smells of Lemon balm rise up and caress my knees as I rub past the self seeded plants that trickle down the slope towards the dry woods. I am not pulling anything up because I want to see who makes their way to my woods. This years surprise was the loosestrife. Nothing would have surprised me more but that it's so far from any possible source tells me that Mom Nature's breath and life giving rains played a part in this seed to get from the front of my house all the way down to the western slope almost half an acre away. It sits lone in the middle of the overgrown weeds not three feet from a raised bed of odd plants. I will relocate it later.
If you were to follow me down that slope you would have stopped at one of the last flowering lilies that I had hoped I hadn't lost this year but was unaware of it's arrival until it was not only up, but had buds and had started without me. It was a pink open faced one resembline a pinker version of a Star Gazer, or what they're selling this year as a "Mona Lisa" but mine is tall. It gets at least five foot. And because it's not getting enough sun due to the Pawlonia tree limb that grew over the whole side yard this year, it wasn't strong enough on it's own to hold the seven blossoms, so I draped it over the Salix limbs that are starting to bud out. Nothing like summer lavender........now if it only had the fragrances of it's common name.
One other odd flower smell is the Cat's Whiskers as I love to call the Cleome Spinosa. It has a slight minty smell as well.
On the blooming side, stand back, here's the run-down: (east to west and northward) Jackmanii clematis again, Japanese anemone, Russian sage, St. John's wort hybrid, Regal lily, Glory bower, perennial begonia, Lobelia "Ruby slippers" (more royal grape red than ruby), Pink sensations bee balm, various late daylilies of interesting faces, Ruby spice Clethera, grape bee balm, Korean spirea, magenta 4's, Helianthus, Heliopsis, yellow 4's, zinnia's, pom pom dahlia's, two kinds of wave petunia's that work nicely together. Lamb's ear, and it's kissing cousin Stachys that is green puckered leafed and has pink bottle like flowers rising up a foot above it. Seems the pink obedient flower is getting those little corn looking blossoms ready. Bright eyes coreopsis, moonbeam coreopsis, Tequila sunrise coreopsis with a burgandy ring around each center.
Two colors of tall phlox that pop up where they want to, and old fashioned Tiger lilies scattered in four places because I seem to remember seeing fairies with bulbils running thru the raised beds and dropped them in odd places. Cleome's in three colors, pink, rose, and pale pinkish white. No white ones yet. One red castor bean plant against the chain link fence that came from who knows where as I never found the red castor seeds Helen sent me. Magenta asters, Bog sage, white obedient plant, yarrows of three colors, Wine and Roses weigelia has three blossoms, and the Crispa spirea is putting out a few flowers, but the Lime spirea in the fig bed is covered in pink flowers. And the fig tree is loaded this year, I will be in ripe fig heaven soon. First time in quite awhile for this and I await their ripening impatiently.
Black eyed susans, a few left over triple Quanzo daylilies, and the blue lace cap hydrangea is still making flowers. The improved Stella d.Oro and Ruby Stella, a couple of sedums and hawortia have screaming pink and orange tubes rising above the main plants on ethereal stems in the pots on the deck. And the Bengal Tiger cannas, the old fashioned Indian shot green cannas have red flowers, soon the dark one will have an orange flower emerging. Two double Althea's planted butt to butt. The beauty berry under the deck is blooming, and I spotted odd return flowers on the two toned red and yellow scotch broom the other day when I was off. Enough Queen Anne's lace to make doilies for everyone's furniture, a few hens and chicks are pulling up buds which means the mother's demise but those pink stars are soooo neat. And that reminds me to check the Raspberry sedum for buds, as the Kamchaticum sedum has yellow stars on it in the pot.
The Black Knight and lavender with orange eyed butterfly bushes, and the tri-colored one I got this year is still blooming. given time it will hopefully amaze me. I planted a Nanho Blue one beside the bed near the woods. Purple loosestrife, Blue Egnima salvia, and soon enough there will be Autumn clematis, Autumn Joy sedum, regular house leek sedum with those pinkish white stars that entrall the bees and wasps. Zebrina's are getting their second wind but since I cut the trunks of the large plants, their children have made up for it by returning in smaller, thinner plants.
Rosea, Bright eyes, Lime Rock Ruby coreopsis as well as the varigated phlox is blossoming, and Joe Pye is making buds. Gaura in a pot has returned strongly when I wasn't paying attention and the pink butterflies hover above the mound of burgandy leaves. Part the "hair" of the moonbeam coreopsis I planted in my mom's concrete urn planter and then as an after thought, a Commander Hay sempervivum reveals the coreopsis has grown thru and around the semp almost obscurring it from sight until you see a flash of somber burgandy purple/green and parting the fine foliage reveals the hens and chicks and makes you smile.
A spagatti pot strainer planted in assorted types has revealed a persistant sowing of columbine. I will leave it. Next year it will tickle me to see it blooming in the pot hanging off the bent rebar five foot above the bed's soil.
There are more, but my mind slips and I am tired. This is enough for now. I hope you enjoyed my brief but rambling sharing of late happinesses. Thanks for allowing me the time to share this with you. Until later, I hope everyone's gardens are doing wonderfully. (I have tomato's in the pot on the deck!) always yours, madgardener, up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking a stormy English Mountain, mist and cloud enshrouded Douglas Lake in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36 (if it's not 36, let me know now since I've changed to 7 instead of 6b)
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Your great essay on the scents of summer are a delight to the imagination. The only time we have five inches of rain in our area occurs in the winter. I did appreciate the inch of rain we received the past week and the resultant renewal of green in the area. We had almost a month of drought with 90+ temperatures, and brown became the predominate color. My scents of summer have been the odor of Repel to keep off chiggers, stinking shoes, and arm pits from sweating when I worked outside to keep up with the moisture needs of my plants. <G>
Today was a reprieve, but it was punctuated by cleaning up from the storm that swept through the area, flattening hibiscus and other tall plants as well as littering the yard with debris from the oaks. We actually had a day of Minnesota summer weather with another predicted for tomorrow. I'd almost forgotten how delightful summer can be.
Yes, your deutzia along with four brethren are thriving. You'll get it soon. It rather surprised me how well they've doing when the usually easy rooting shrubs refused to root.
John

and
I
ozone
out
behind
entries
up
Garden
ran
smells
again,
quite
around
or
I
of
and
warm
of
was
yellow
I
cruel
tangle
salvia
the
Lemon
surprise
so
Lisa"
getting
yard
common
slippers"
Korean
obedient
that
is
in
ripening
orange
under
red
getting
phlox
above
persistant
it
I
Thanks
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I think I am zone 6b here in NE PA...am I correct about that? It's about 100 miles, maybe 50 miles North of Philadelphia.
Bebra
NE PA zone 6b?

the
that
smell.
vu"
I
spare
The
dismay
limbed
their
most
of
bush
Butterfly
yellow
spots
the
will
as
because
spirea
sprawling
July,
I
that
up
house
bed
of
was
blossoms,
Nothing
wort
pom
has
fashioned
odd
No
sent
spirea
fig
and
Anne's
as
will
those
I
around
see
now.
on
me
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the
that
smell.
vu"
I
spare
The
dismay
limbed
their
most
of
bush
Butterfly
yellow
spots
the
will
as
because
spirea
sprawling
July,
I
that
up
house
bed
of
was
blossoms,
Nothing
wort
pom
has
fashioned
odd
No
sent
spirea
fig
and
Anne's
as
will
those
I
around
see
now.
on
me
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need
is
and
send
I'm sure it can because the parent shrub was in a lot of shade. It was blooming at the time but rather sparsely. The blossoms were pretty, but they were white without the pink tinge they were supposed to possess. I won't send it next week but sometime the following week because we're heading to Minnesota. You can plant it in a gallon pot when it arrives and save it for fall planting.
I'm sure that your work schedule is about to slow considerably in the garden center and give you more time to pursue other interests. I don't believe you when you say you're going to put Squire on a diet. You're too good a cook! <GRIN>
John
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Hey! Same here. Loved the smells. I was right there with you! As to the drought that B& J are going through, I'm going nuts with it as well, and I live in central B.C. Haven't had rain for a month and the temps are getting worse. 39 degrees celcius and a low of 31.God, how I long for a good thunder storm! J.Lane

road
you
sorting
I
a
it's
I
Regale
me
remnants
three
I
flowers,
of
will.........updates
lily
the
will
lead
over
where
anything
it's
life
sits
and
late
Lamb's
eyes
burgandy
seeing
fence
covered
blue
the
green
toned
are
are
buds,
the
the
their
returned
coreopsis
a
somber
and
bed's
Douglas
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Thanks for a great essay. Smells are the stimulants that seem to bring back the most vivid memories. Lilacs always remind me of going to open up our summer camp. I leave the creeping thyme in my lawn as it brings back the memories of a long forgotten apple orchard that I used to play in on hot summer days.
-snip-

But peanut butter!. For anyone who, like me, just said - 'I want one!' - My ancient copy of Wymans has them as Clerodendrum trichotomum- 20', zone 6.
There is a picture of the plant at http://www.whidbey.com/mvg/glorybower.htm , and the description say it will tolerate full sun, but likes a little shade.
The flower & berries are pictured here-
http://www.dinop.com/plants/0054/DSCF3697.JPG .
I love everything about this plant so far. The smell, [one I love-- and *so* unique for a plant], the habit, the partial-shade preference. But I'm technically in zone 5, though I'm on a protected NE facing slope, so I get some leeway. I see the madgardener is in Zone7. Has anyone tried this plant further north--- or know of a newer hybrid that might tolerate more cold but retain the same features?
-snip-

Sadly, it will relocate on its own. Loosestrife is one of NYs top 20 invasive species. http://www.ipcnys.org/pages/top%2020.htm
I have mixed feelings on it myself, as it is a beautiful plant. But I've seen a 100 acre wetland that supported maybe 100 different plants, [plus large turtles, fish, & other critters that like water 1-2 feet deep] converted to a 100 acre field of loosestrife.
-snip-

Thanks for the walk through your estate-- Hope you weren't late for work.
Jim
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wrote
-snip-
The Harlequin Glory Bower had started setting buds last week much to my dismay but if I hadn't been so distracted and had stuck to at least partial entries in my journal I would have seen that it was actually TIME for this limbed up bush/tree to do it's thing for me here.
The leaves smell like peanut butter.
But peanut butter!. For anyone who, like me, just said - 'I want one!' - My ancient copy of Wymans has them as Clerodendrum trichotomum- 20', zone 6.
There is a picture of the plant at <http://www.whidbey.com/mvg/glorybower.htm , and the description say it will tolerate full sun, but likes a little shade.
Mine is on the east/south corner of the NSSG (not so secret garden, or maybe we should say CISSG....Crammed into small space garden <G>) it gets dappled eastern sun in the morning thru the black cherry tree that has always been here and is huge and is the true point of the "shade" part of the two gardens. It gets hard southern sun and indirect scorching western sunlight and droops and sulks in the heat. But once the worst of the heat is past and dusk is approaching, it perks up wonderfully. I tend to pamper it when we have drought like last year. It would droop and I'd water it in the late afternoon. If you want to try it, plant it on your south-western spot in a sheltered area where it will get some dappled shade to help it thru heat.
The flower & berries are pictured here-
<
http://www.dinop.com/plants/0054/DSCF3697.JPG .

BOY are THOSE the berries!!!!! When I first saw the picture of this berry in the Holbrook Farm catalog back in 1995 when it was still open, I remember saying " I GOTTA HAVE THAT PLANT FOR THE BERRIES ALONE" When the original owner decided after 15 years to close the incredible and inovative nursery down and move on to other things, I remember thinking it wasn't fair, especially when I had just discovered it. But as luck would have it I was able to obtain three of my major players and bones in my original plantings despite everything I moved over here seven and a half years ago. The bush variety of St. John's Wort or Hyperion I think. Incredible bush with yellow pom poms that look right off a very feminine lady's dresser (like a powder puff only yellow) and a perfect shape. Moved that one three times before getting it where it really loves it. on the northeast edge of the lip of the slope where I have crammed in so much on the east side of the house. It's very happy but is being shoved now by the RUNNERS of the GLORY BOWER..........you want a few seedlings??I could dig a couple in the fall and send them and you can pot them up and see how they do where you are if you're game, I have a thicket going on at the moment.
The other plants I got at Holbrook Farms was a "Twig-Leaf Dogwood" that turned out to be a Cornelian Cherry tree. These both cost me $1.50 for a four inch pot. the third one I treasure is the Glory Bower and it cost me more, $3.00 for the quart pot.
I love everything about this plant so far. The smell, [one I love-- and *so* unique for a plant], the habit, the partial-shade preference. But I'm technically in zone 5, though I'm on a protected NE facing slope, so I get some leeway. I see the madgardener is in Zone7. Has anyone tried this plant further north--- or know of a newer hybrid that might tolerate more cold but retain the same features?
If you would like to try a sapling or two and pot them up and let them acclimate to your climate, your more than welcome to try it like I said. E-mail me if you're interested. The worst you will do is kill them, and I can afford to have the whole area turn into a thicket. The Glory Bower is a suckering shrub/tree and I also have a Sorbaria which ALSO is a suckering shrub, they're fighting it out at the moment with the Sorbaria gaining fast.........but the Glory bower is just gaining in height. I will though have to move the Mexican jasmine bushes before I lose them to lack of light. they prefer more sun than they're now getting.
-snip-
This years surprise was the loosestrife. Nothing would have surprised me more but that it's so far from any possible source tells me that Mom Nature's breath and life giving rains played a part in this seed to get from the front of my house all the way down to the western slope almost half an acre away. It sits lone in the middle of the overgrown weeds not three feet from a raised bed of odd plants. I will relocate it later.
Sadly, it will relocate on its own. Loosestrife is one of NYs top 20 invasive species.
<http://www.ipcnys.org/pages/top%2020.htm I have mixed feelings on it myself, as it is a beautiful plant. But I've seen a 100 acre wetland that supported maybe 100 different plants, [plus large turtles, fish, & other critters that like water
1-2 feet deep] converted to a 100 acre field of loosestrife.
I agree, I was amazed and horrified to see how much it had eaten Michigan's wetlands when I as last there and I'm sure it's much worse now. that's where I got the hunks I have now. But it's a shadow of itself compared to what it is up there in the loose, rich sandy soil and high water table. Mine pretty much behaves in the clay soil, and the Japanese beetles eat it down to bones which is what they're doing right now.......I will update everyone on my more sedate walk tomorrow. It was incredible.......thanks for the encouraging words.........
madgardener in Eastern Tennessee
-snip-
always yours, madgardener, up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking a stormy English Mountain, mist and cloud enshrouded Douglas Lake in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36 (if it's not 36, let me know now since I've changed to 7 instead of 6b)
Thanks for the walk through your estate-- Hope you weren't late for work.
Jim
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