Fragrant Bush or Tree by front door (in Lakeland)

pinkgator(9)April 22, 2012

I was thinking about putting a fragrant plant/bush/tree by our front door. I have an area thats about 5x5 with nothing there. It would kind of be in a corner, left side being the walk-up to our house, backside being our house, and there is a (viburnum ?) hedge to the right, and another taller (6 ft) yet skinny (2.5 ft wide) dense-ish hedge with tiny dark green leaves in front of it.

Any ideas?

My house faces south if that matters. Any there is a huge oak tree in our front yard, but I don't think it covers that area.

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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I love, love, LOVE the smell of Sweet Olive or Fragrant Tea Olive (or just plain Tea Olive), Osmanthus fragrans. It is heavenly. They have them in the Jacksonville Lowes right now and I can't go through Lowes without circling past them again and again. I want one so badly, but not sure I have a good spot. Tea Olive is an evergreen shrub and can be grown in full sun or part sun/shade. It looks somewhat like a camellia but doesn't have the big showy flowers. It has tiny white flowers. You know, as I am typing this, I am talking myself into one, too! I am going to get one. It is really too nice to not have. I think it was somewhere between $11.99 and $14.99 at Lowes for a 3-4 foot tall shrub - I can't remember exactly.

See link below for more information.

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: IFAS - Tea Olive

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:03PM
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I was going to suggest the same thing! Sometimes Walmart has them. They aren't the most outstanding looking shrubs in the world but the fragrance is wonderful. Especially in the morning.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:43PM
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Two suggestions. The first is a gardenia. There isn't any bush more fragrant when it is in bloom. If you get one make sure it's grafted.

The other suggestion is a Louis Phillipe rose bush. It will get big, but it doesn't need to be sprayed and it will put out small, red, fragrant roses almost all year long.

I have tea olives and they are extremely fragrant also. Their fragrance is similar to that of a gardenia.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:20PM
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Okay- this may be a dumb question, but does the olive bush produce actual edible olives? Is it pretty? When I did a search for the actual genealogical name, a TON of different plants pulled up.

Where would I find it in Lakeland? My husband had to go to Home Depot today and they didn't have it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:32PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)


No - it doesn't have edible olives. Follow the link in my post for lots of additional info, links and photos.

The tree is available at Lowes in Jacksonville. Call Lowes in your area to see if you can get it there.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 11:00PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I love the scent of the star jasmine that's right outside our front door - & it seems not to mind our live oak canopy. Mine is a sort of scrambler & I encouraged it to intertwine the front porch pillar, but they also are kept clipped as shrubs.

OTOH, I simply cannot stand the scent of the ubiquitous Confederate jasmine everybody around seems to have in their yards - I think the term is 'cloying'...?


    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:33PM
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I would suggest a lake view jasmine (Murraya paniculata 'Lakeview'), you can trim it into a tidy shrub and it has fragrant flowers.

I like tea Olives (osmanthus) but they don't bloom long enough and they are really not very attractive.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Chiming in here about the tea olives - I have them in 3 spots and while they are not the most attractive plant, they bloom off and on all the time. My fave...I saw today at the nursery there was a new variety (sorry I don't know the name) but it was a much better looking plant with hanging blooms.
I would intersperse with sweet almond - you haven't lived until you've smelled one!
Lakeview also good- I have five around the yards - so pretty and great for birds.
I agree with Carol about confederate jasmine - and it only blooms once a year.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 3:57PM
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My tea olive, from Lowes, has repeatedly bloomed since it went it the ground late last summer.

I think it can be pruned into a shrubby shape or can be trimmed up like a small tree.

As I understand it is very forgiving about soil and sun/shade. Mine is in sand and in morning sun till noon.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:36PM
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If you are anywhere nearby, visit the Apopka Art & Foliage Festival. It starts this weekend and ends on Sunday - they have the most beautiful plants, appropriate for any location. Held in Apopka on Park Avenue at Kitland Nelson Park, and no, I am not a promoter of the show, just a resident who enjoys it every year.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 2:25PM
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+1 on gardenia. They have an incredibly nice smell that is powerful but not obnoxious if you know what I mean? There are several common varieties, a good nursery might have a selection and this time of the year they ought to be in bloom so you can do a smell test.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 8:02PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I vote for Gardenia as well...I have a small grafted tree I keep trimmed that is very close to my front door. Love the scent when they are blooming.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Puglvr, that is one gorgeously healthy looking gardenia!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:44PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks so much Writersblock!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:34AM
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If you get a gardenia, dump your coffee grounds under it every so often. I do that about once a week, year round, and it is the happiest bush. When I first got it, the bugs and poor soil nearly killed it. I finally cut it down to just above the graft. Basically, I gave up on it. But I couldn't bear to rip it out. Someone here recommended coffee grounds, so I did that and waited. (I don't irrigate or use fertilizer or pesticides.) It is now much larger than when I cut it down and it's healthy enough to fight off bugs on its own. It's just finishing up another show-stopper bloom season. Before I cut it down and started the coffee grounds, its bloom season was short and unimpressive. It gets full sun until noon.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 2:43PM
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christit(8 FL)

how about a sweet almond bush/tree. Easy to grow however not very attractive. Kinda gangly but responds nicely to a little trimming. Smells quite nice.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 5:50PM
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