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Uncommon Garden Fragrances

Articles: Uncommon Garden Fragrances

Gardening is a sensual experience and while secondary to sight, our sense of smell nonetheless adds a complementary and vivid way in which to interact with our garden treasures. Most of us grow at least one well-known fragrant plant but there is a world of aromatic pleasures beyond roses, lavender, and wisteria. This article looks at five of my favorite delightfully fragrant, if lesser known, plants.

Viburnum ×burkwoodii. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Viburnum ×burkwoodii

In my opinion, the intoxicatingly sweet aroma of Burkwood viburnum (Viburnum ×burkwoodii) matches that of any Daphne. The species is a cross of garden origin between Viburnum carlesii and V. utile. Both parents are known for their fragrant flowers while V. utile contributes glossy leaves, heat tolerance, adaptability to high pH soils, and a profuse flowering habit. The latter plant was introduced to the trade in 1901 but has since become a collector’s plant.

Burkwood viburnum grows six to eight feet tall. Domed terminal corymbs of intensely sweet, tiny white flowers appear in mid to late spring against handsome, dark green, glossy, ovat...


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