Thursday, May 25, 2006

What's That Smell?

I get to play “What’s That Smell” quite often. I follow my nose to treasures such as cat poop in the closet, funky laundry on the stairs, and over-ripe garbage in the kitchen. The odor I’m seeking isn’t always an unpleasant one, especially outdoors. Spring finds me poking my nose into assorted blooms to find the one releasing that delicious, heady scent. I remember last year’s eureka when a storm blew down a black locust blossom and I finally identified the source of the gentle, pear-like fragrance that had filled the backyard for days.

There isn’t much blooming in front of the house now, but, on Tuesday, I kept catching whiffs of a light, sweet, clean scent. Through the process of elimination, I determined that it wasn’t coming from the sage, burgundy gaillardia, weigela, dutch iris, or mini-roses. I sat on the front steps, resting from my hoeing and sniffing the air in a puzzled manner. In a more “doh” than “eureka” moment, I realized that the source surrounded me on either side. My climbing hydrangea is blooming and the blossoms are scented.

Describing the scent is difficult. The closest I can come is “hotel soap,” which isn’t helpful at all. I asked Tim’s opinion and he describes it as gardenia-like. (I think gardenias smell soapy too.) Although it defies description, the scent is light and lovely.

I’ve chosen many of my garden plants for fragrance. So far this spring, I’ve been treated to hyacinths, shooting star, lilacs, and pinks. I’m eagerly looking forward to my Silk Road lilies and Julia Childs rose, both newly planted. The surprises are fun too, because I get another chance to play my favorite game. When the scent is pleasant, I’m always a winner.


Blogger snappy said...

sounds wanderful the scents.My petunia never smelled this time.The wild one dropped by the birds did smell of vanilla.i have some evening primrose in pots which scents in the evening..

4:42 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

I also love to take a walk around our yard and 'catch a whiff' of our Sweet Bay Magnolia this time of year (I love that tree)with it's little saucer-like blossoms. Last month it was the lilacs and the viburnums. : )

8:22 PM  
Blogger phreed83 said...

How long have you had your climbing hydrangea? It's beautiful. I tried to grow one against a stone wall for years at our last house, but it would never bloom (or cling to the stupid wall).

9:06 PM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

phreed83 - I bought my climbing hydrangea last spring at Moeller's in Cincinnati. It was mature (and in flower bud) when I bought it.

I'm not sure why yours hasn't flowered. It likes 1/2 day shade and I've noticed that mine can be very thirsty when the weather warms up.

8:58 AM  

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