Imagine: Carla loved to sleep with the window open. For her, the arrival of spring wasn’t announced by daffodils or tulips, but by her ability to smell the fresh, outdoor air through the cracked window at night.
“Maybe we should put plants with fragrant flowers outside the bedroom,” her husband said. “Now that’s a great idea,” Carla replied. So the following Saturday they drove to the garden center and spent an hour wandering among the plants. After talking with several of the workers there, they picked up several plants. In their wagon was a woodbine Honeysuckle, some Actea ‘Brunette,’ a ‘Lemondrop’ Azalea, and Carla’s favorite, the mayflower Viburnum.
After spending all day on Sunday preparing the planting bed and putting the plants in the ground, Carla sat down at her computer. “Posting about your fragrance garden on Facebook?” her husband asked. “No,” Carla replied as she studied the results of a Google search. “I’m looking at windows. With all those fragrant plants out there, I think we might need another widow on the other side of the bed.”
Name: Viburnum carlesii, aka Koreanspice or mayflower viburnum
Type of Plant: A rounded shrub that produces very fragrant flowers in early spring. Grows well in full sun or part shade in Zones 4-7.
Why I love this: This low-maintenance shrub has many desirable attributes. It produces a nice round shape without pruning, the structure isn’t too heavy – so the plant doesn’t dominate either in a garden or a foundation planting. The buds are dark pink and they open into white flowers, so you get a nice contrast as the flowers develop. And of course, the fragrance is heavenly.
A Word to the Wise: If you want to prune this plant do so immediately after it finishes flowering since the buds for next spring will be produced in the summertime.