Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Garden Fragrance: March

hybrid tea rose "Sterling Silver"
Running a little late for the Scents in the Garden meme this month, but here are the garden perfumes in the middle of March in the small, sunny garden.

As a matter of fact, the wonderful scent wafting through the garden at present is coming from the lemon blossoms just beyond it.  However, there are a number of fragrant plants in the garden itself.

First, the usual suspects: two Lavandula stoechas varieties and two of Salvia greggii.  L. s. "Madrid" does seem sturdier and markedly more drought-tolerant than "Blueberry Ruffles" (shown below).  Both are proving very free-blooming.  The bees adore them.
Lavendula stoechas "Blueberry Ruffles"
Salvia greggii "Flame" has a lax habit, not so bushy as "Autumn Moon".  I am still hoping this plant will prove a bit more robust, as the blooms are a delightful scarlet.  The fragrance is that of Autumn Sage: a clean combination of sage and mint - very nice.
Salvia greggii "Flame", Autumn Sage
Fragrance in Dutch Iris?  I did think I caught a little whiff, but it is difficult to tell since the iris patch is tucked in just beside S. greggii "Autumn Moon", whose scented foliage takes over the air around it. This is the first iris bloom - just opened this morning!
Dutch iris "Blue Magic"
Although I have mentioned Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana) in several recent posts, I hadn't actually attempted to smell it - not the easiest feat because it is still little more than a groundcover in height.  I thought I had better check it this morning, and to my surprise there is a light, sweet smell to the flowers.  (The foliage is also fragrant.)
Chrysactinia mexicana, damianita
And the chocolate fragrance of Berlandiera lyrata is unmistakeable with the rising temperatures.  Forgive the photo; the plant is still blooming, but today's crop of flowers is a bit ratty.  Not so, their scent!
Berlandiera lyrata
There are also the herbs that are flowering.  Rosemary...
Rosemary "Tuscan Blue", Rosmarinus
...and lemon thyme.
Lemon Thyme, Thymus x citriodora
But the climax is the rose.  One bloom is open on "Sterling Silver" with more buds to follow.  This is a good, strong, rich tea rose perfume, one of the reasons for growing this variety.
Hybrid tea rose, Sterling Silver rose
And that is the fragrance tour of the garden at present.  Many thanks to Wellywoman for hosting the meme for this delightful subject!
Dutch Iris "Blue Magic"


  1. Marvellous Amy, to have so much scent, especially the lemon blossom, but to have a beautiful rose in March! Desert envy!

    1. I admit I am thoroughly enjoying it, Jessica! This is a beautiful time of year here - we even have a chance of rain tomorrow... ;-)

  2. The flowers and foliage of the Chrysactinia is scented? Now I have to find it! I didn't know the Dutch Iris were scented - mine withered during the heatwave so I lost my opportunity to check it out.

    1. I won't swear to scent in the Iris, Kris! If there was any, it was faint, particularly among the stems of the sage... I'm sure I included it partly just because I was so happy to see it blooming well as all but one of my reticulatas refused to bloom at all. The Chrysactinia flower smell is light, but there; and the foliage is a rub-it-and-sniff resinous smell, which I like!

  3. What beautiful photos. The rose is exquisite and I have never seen the lovely Chrysactinia. Is the Berlandiera an annual?

    1. Thanks so much, Chloris! The Berlandiera is perennial, native to the Southwest and beginning to come into use for dry-climate planting, particularly since it tolerates many soil types, including clay. It is apparently quite cold-hardy. Although I had read of it and Chrysactinia prior to moving here, I had never seen them before, but I'm finding them very appealing plants! Hopefully it will be possible for them to find wider use in gardening... Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. Gorgeous photos. I'm SO jealous of the citrus scent - it's one of my favourites but we don't have the climate to grow them outdoors and I don't have the space indoors. Whenever I go to the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall I always make a beeline for the citrus plants and drink in their scent. That rose is a stunner. Thank you so much for taking the time to join in this meme, it's fascinating to see what you're growing. :)

    1. I can't help making the most of the citrus scent, WW :) While gardening in the Midwest, I made one literally fruitless attempt to grow a lemon indoors, but it was impossible for me in those conditions... I really think Sterling Silver must be one of the most fragrant of the mid-century hybrid teas - it's a delicious smell! Thanks for hosting the meme!