Saturday, November 3, 2007

Callooh, Callay


Oh frabjous joy, my Viburnum bodnatense 'pink dawn' is in full bloom, sending its delightful fragrance out on the November winds. I had commented on bloomingwriter's post on viburnums the other day about my Pink Dawn, and she commented back that they wouldn't bloom in Nova Scotia 'til May. Made me think to go check mine and, surprise, it's already blooming! I'll have to do some research about pruning this because it's at least ten feet tall and rather ungainly. It's part of an improvised hedge of sorts -- various older roses and flowering shrubs -- that border the fence between our place and the neighbours next door.
Something that very much pleases me about our garden, something that I think I've done right by design (many things about the garden please me, but so much is serendipitous, accidental), is that we have year-round interest, and that there are many winter-flowering fragrant plants. For a few years, Paul and I would quite often drive down to our favourite nursery in Chemainus as a relatively cheap date, stopping for lunch on the way back. Because we did this early spring and late fall perhaps even more than in the summer, and because we are often drawn to what's flowering, we have staggered flowering in the garden. As well, I was impressed as a grad student on the University of Victoria campus by how much a surprising floral scent could lift my spirits on a dull February day, and I researched how to get some of that in my own yard. In the next few weeks, the Lonicera Purpusii (honeysuckle shrub) will start flowering right outside the back door, and then the Petasites (Winter Heliotrope) I have corralled in an old washtub will start throwing their cherry-pie scent around (Warning! important to contain these!!). By then, the amazing Hamamelis mollis (witch-hazel) in a neighbour's up the road will be chiming in--I'll be able to smell it, even though it's at least 100 metres away) and shortly after the Mahonia japonica and Sarcococca hookeriana (sweet box) in my side garden. These fragrances are all so much sweeter for the relief they're thrown into by the dark, dismal, rainy world around them.

3 comments:

  1. Mater, what's your zone up there? Seattle/BC are rainforest, aren't they? I'm in the midwest US and we're a zone 5-6, and I keep thinking the stuff you have would perish here, even though you're farther north. Lovely to look at!

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  3. dana: you're absolutely right -- we're 7b/8a, and I'm right on the water with the moderating maritime influence. Our fishpond will occasionally freeze, but not even every winter, and rarely for more than a total of 15 days all winter.

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