Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Sweet Smell of Summer

As a kid I can remember walking through the neighborhood and smelling the scent of freshly cut grass. Even as an adult, I still take a deep breath and savor the herb-like scent of grass. The steamy fresh scent after a rain shower is another wonderful childhood memory. Everything is refreshed and the drop in heat is reduced to what feels like a blanket of steam surrounding me. I still love to watch the steam rising from the asphalt roads and off the roof tops of homes. Quite an eerie feeling but one that's so familiar. And, there does seem to be a feeling of comfort in the familiar. 

One of the most familiar scents of summer from my childhood comes from the Angel Trumpet that my mother grew in her yard. My trumpet tree is an offspring - many generations removed - from her tree. It is covered with blossoms following, what seems like, record amounts of rain in June. Even in a considerable amount of shade, this plant rewards me with flowers and scent all year round. It's one of my favorites!

A new plant to my garden is the night-blooming jasmine. This plant is a monster!! It has a mind of its own and I'm constantly trimming it back off of the surrounding plants. It gobbled up and devoured the peach tree (the 2 visible trunks in the photo) a long time ago. In the evening, on toward darkness this plant is intoxicatingly fragrant. My mom always tells the story that our neighbor told her. She said to "never plant a night-blooming jasmine outside your bedroom window because the smell is so strong that you won't be able to sleep." Of course way back then we all slept with our windows open because we didn't have air conditioning. 

A new very subtle and, unfortunately, short-lived scent is the St. Christopher lily. I brought this plant from my aunt's garden to mine after she died.

The plant is similar to a crinum lily but shorter in stature,

 and the flowers are shaped more like a chalice than a lily.

It's a beautiful flower that gives off a subtle scent when you're near it. They fully opened over night and this morning I noticed the flowers had lots of little gnats all over the inside. A quick Google search and I learned that gnats feed on pollen, and do perform pollinating functions. How about that? You learn something new all the time.  

 I hope your garden is full of the sweet smell of summer, too!

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