Scents of Fall
Fragrances of fall typically conjure images of crushed leaves under foot, but there are still delightful scents wafting from blooms in the garden. Inspired by the article about the 26 of the Best Scented Plants in Gardens Illustrated this month, I thought we should explore what has fabulous scents in the fall garden.
Currently tantalizing your sense of smell in the Theresa Lang Garden of Fragrance, Elaeagnus pungens has inconspicuous flowers with a large scent. Described as sweet smelling and similar to a gardenia, the bell-shaped, creamy white flowers bloom tucked under the evergreen leaves. This planted is best used as a broadleaf evergreen windbreak or screen in your garden. While pruning is required to keep the plant “in bounds,” you are rewarded with a pleasant scent throughout your garden from October into November.
Another fragrant gem in the garden this fall is flowering tobacco, Nicotiana sylvestris or white shooting star. As opposed to Elaeagnus, Nicotiana flowers are large, dramatic white, trumpet-shaped blooms, opening in pendant clusters. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, N. sylvestris is great addition to the late summer border with a floral display from summer to fall. Found blooming in the Theresa Lang Garden of Fragrance and the Scott Entrance Garden, the strongest fragrance is apparent in the evening hours.
To round out this trio of great fragrant plants is an evergreen, Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Gulftide’. This English holly look-alike is deer-resistant and shade tolerant. Another great foundation or hedge plant, the inconspicuous flowers produce a delicious scent from September through November. While the white blooms are tucked under the glossy, spiny evergreen leaves, the fragrance carries for yards. Follow your nose to plantings tucked into corners around Kohlberg Hall and the John W. Nason Garden.
The garden engages all your senses any time of year. Come smell these gems for yourself and widen your perception of fall fragrances.