Fringe Benefits

Chionanthus virginicus in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Chionanthus virginicus’ fragrant tassels (Photo: Kathy Diemer)

Each spring is filled with great anticipation for the fragrant clusters of shredded coconut-like flowers that will soon adorn every branch of my fringe trees.  Sweetly honeysuckle scented, the delicate white tassels remind me of the streamers at the end of my first bicycle’s handle bars as they fluttered in the breeze. (I’m dating myself, but those of you that remember the streamers may also remember banana seats, sissy bars and playing cards attached to the spokes with clothes line pins). [Read more…]

Plants for Seasons of Fragrance

Casa Blanca Lily in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Fragrant Casa Blanca Lily (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Ornamental gardens are traditionally designed for visual impact; vivacious blossoms are chosen to display a bold array of colors while shapely shrubs and grasses enhance the landscape with complementary hues and textures. But there is an unseen aspect to the garden that can be as alluring as the view itself, like the enchanting song of a siren luring you closer to the source. In a word: fragrance.

A luscious bourbon rose in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

A luscious heirloom rose (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

In 40BC, Cleopatra used sweetly scented rose petals to lure Mark Anthony to her bedchamber, and today our 21st century markets have followed suit with fragrant hygiene products and unique perfumes, all created to give us our own signature scent. People identify with fragrance, it has the power to soothe, entice or invigorate (think Aromatherapy) yet, it can also transport you in time. Think back to the fresh baked aroma of your grandmother’s apple pie or the first whiff of lilac blossoms in spring. Helen Keller said it best: “Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived”. [Read more…]

Spring Fling

The deliciously fragrant viburnum flower in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

The deliciously fragrant viburnum flower (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Spring is the time of year when Mother Nature turns her switch to “ON” and all the dreary browns evaporate into a sea of green. Seemingly overnight, blades of grass sprout up, leaves metamorphose from buds to butterfly wings, even the air is electrified with the sounds and smells that only spring can broadcast. And speaking of scents reminiscent of spring, here a few of my favorite harbingers of fragrance: [Read more…]