Plants for Seasons of Fragrance

Casa Blanca Lily in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

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

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…]

Hearty Hyacinth

Hyacinth 'Carnegie' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Hyacinth ‘Carnegie’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Hyacinths have been a part of plant history for as far back as records were kept.  In fact, the name hyacinth can be traced back some 4,000 years, when its blossoms were compared to the bluest waters. Greek mythology describes a beautiful youth named Hyacinth, who was adored by the gods Apollo and Zephyr.  When Hyacinth was tragically killed during a game of discus throwing, Apollo created a flower from his spilled blood and stained the flower’s petals with his own tears, thus creating its diverse pigmentation. Hyacinths were later mentioned by the Greek poet, Homer, as one of the flowers that comprised the couch that Hera, queen of heaven and earth, slept upon. Even Mohammed II, conqueror of Constantinople in the 1400’s and Suleiman, ruler of the Ottoman Empire in the mid 1500’s, were devoted growers of hyacinths.  [Read more…]