Can you smell that?

I’m definitely on a fragrance kick lately. I don’t know if it’s that my nose is compensating for my other senses – I’m near sighted and I don’t always hear too well… Or if it’s just that it’s June and June smells really beautiful.

I have been walking through curtains of scent all over the property and have continued sticking my nose into every bloom to find the sources. Some are obvious – like the sweet peas. They happen to be one of the only flowers I’m willing to cut from my own garden to bring inside just so I can draw in every last whiff of them.

Sweet pea - Lathyrus odoratus 'Chatsworth'Sweet pea - Lathyrus odoratus 'Chocolate Streamer'

Lilah I think would be happy to take home a bouquet of her declared favorite rose, ‘Sweet Juliet’. Its scent is heavy enough to knock me right over but I can certainly smell why it might be anyone’s favorite.

Rosa 'Sweet Juliet'

I keep asking Gail if she can smell the linden trees  – in full bloom here now – and am amazed that she doesn’t much notice it. Even though there are lindens all over the property, Lilah and I took a little break the other day in the Linden Grove (Tilia cordata – Littleleaf lindens) just to twirl in the honey scent, and majesty of those trees.

the Linden Grove (Tilia cordata)inside the Linden GroveLilah and a linden flower

Aside from the scent of them, which admittedly some people hardly notice, the linden flowers are pretty unimpressive. On the other hand, catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) flowers are amazing to look at but, according to my snifter, are kind of empty, fragrance-wise.

Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa

And for a flower that is both amazing to look at and has an intoxicating fragrance, nothing beats a night blooming cereus. It finally dawned on me that if I (and you through me) were ever going to experience an open flower, I’d have to bring a plant home. I took the pictures at about 10:30pm but I did notice that at least one of the (3) buds had started to open at dusk. – Does anyone know, is that when they typically open? I thought it was only after dark… In any case, it wasn’t very fragrant then or early the next morning. But in the dark, it was definitely a  “wow!” If only you could smell it too…

Night blooming cereusNight blooming cereus flower and bud

Can you smell the lindens? What’s fragrant in your garden? For a look, if not a sniff, at what’s blooming all over the world right now, check out Garden Bloggers Bloom Day over at May Dreams Gardens.

6 thoughts on “Can you smell that?

  1. Cottonwoods are what scent our early summers. I missed their smell immensely back east. They have a unique, willowy sort of riparian scent to them…there’s nothing else quite like it. I can definitely smell lindens when they come on, too. It’s not as pervasive as the native Cottonwoods, esp. around the rivers.

    Susan, There are so many things I didn’t properly appreciate all those years I lived out west – I have to add the scent of cottonwoods to my list. I’ll have to see if the ones we have here are already past blooming. -kris

  2. I keep thinking that I smell catalpa flowers when I’m walking under the leaves… but then when I sniff an individual flower, I get nothing. Maybe I’m getting the basswood (linden) trees instead, though, since we have a lot of those on our street. Those seem more sweetly scented in the evening, too, but I think that’s just for lack of other competing smells in my urban yard. (In other words, no car exhaust, or neighbors’ dinners to compete with the flower scent.)

    ‘Sweet Juliet’ is indeed a pretty rose. I keep thinking that I should add a scented climber to my yard…

    Kim, Michael Dirr claims to have detected a slight fragrance on a catalpa in Boston… But I’d put my money on the lindens in your neighborhood – and yeah a calm evening/morning is probably when they’re at their best. ‘Sweet Juliet’ isn’t a climber (or at least that’s not how we have it trained). You and I need to get the name of Layanee’s rose… -kris

  3. I am catching the scent of the heliotrope and also the climbing rose. I remember the scent of the Lindens although I don’t have any. Sweet peas are heavenly and I am coming to sniff yours!

    Layanee, I’ll send you home with another bouquet! See you soon? -kris

  4. i have a jasmine (not the ground cover variety) potted up on the back porch, and it smells heavenly morning and night. i also have a night blooming cereus but it has yet to bloom for me – reading the reaction to yours blooming, i’m looking forward to it!

    mmmmm jasmine! I can’t seem to keep my plant alive/blooming… -kris

  5. My experience is that the widest open night blooming Cereus blooms are around 10:30 or 11pm. You can tell in late afternoon that they are going to open that night and the wait is suspenseful. When the weather gets cool here and I move them into the greenhouse, sometimes there is an October bloom or two. Those will still be open early the next morning. Summer blooms outside are gone when I rise in the morning.

    I just moved my epis to the carport from farther away so I won’t forget to water on these scorching days — I’ve already lost some little buds. Some are just a few days away from bloom.

    Nell Jean, I can’t believe I missed the third bloom – I thought for sure looking at it that it was another day away. And I think it must be because our mornings were cool and gray that they were still open when I got up. (Though some might consider 5:30ish nighttime still.) -kris

  6. Linden is hands down one of my all-time favorites. So great.

    It’s such a good fragrance I find it a little upsetting that Gail can’t smell it. -kris

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