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Night time wafting fragrance

Posted by lpinkmountain 5b/6a border PA (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 7, 08 at 23:54

I am going to redo part of my garden (it's looking scraggly), so I have some room to add some fragrant plants. I have come to realize that I am out in the backyard mostly at night, due to working long hours or it being hot as blazes out there in the afternoon (southern exposure). I have some fragrant plants, but none of them seem to waft much at night (my wild rose does not smell, which is one reason it is going, and the Ms. Kim lilac which doesn't seem to waft). About the only night time fragrant plant I have is my japanese snowbell, and that one smells like a cucumber, IMHO, not very exciting!
Any ideas for some night time wafting scented plants for zone 6? I'm not really deep into zone 6. White or pale flowers would be nice too, since they are visible at night. I have a few patio lights. I have room for a climber too. Oh, and I don't have room for something that gets big, like carlesei viburnum, since I have a row house and tiny narrow yard.
One plant I am considering though, is sweet bay magnolia. I have room to espalier it against a wall. Does it smell at night? I haven't noticed it being especially fragrant unless you get your nose right into the flowers.
I also have room for some dianthus.
Any other ideas?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

I have a small back yard with full sun, (it's really small) and it is enclosed with an ugly chain link fence.
My neighbor has an above ground pool right in the back of my house, which they can see right into my yard and kitchen.
She planted a japanese honeysuckle on the back chain link fence, right near my smoke bush, and it grew sooo fast!
I trim it back away from my bush, and I have to tell you, it smells heavenly! It is blooming right now and I want to go out day or night, nad smell it!
I don't spend any time during the day outside either because it is too hot from the sun, but when the sun starts to go down, around 7 or 8, oh my God, it is strong!
It is invasive because it grows fast, but if you could buy a trellis for it to grow on, you will not be disappointed in the smell of it. It has little white and yellow flowers too, and it is evergreen in zone 6.
If you tell yourself that the trimming during the summer is worth the glorious smell and flowers, then by all means, buy it!
Some people will not like me telling you to plant japanese honeysuckle, but if you trim it back, you can grow it responsibly, besides you are in a cold zone anyway, you might not have a big problem with it getting too big.


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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

flowering tobacco (nicotiana) is highly fragrant in the evening hours.
the asian honeysuckles produce seed that birds disperse. no real way to grow it "responsibly" in areas where it is an invasive exotic.


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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

Butterfly, your post reminded me of another option I had forgotten about--wild clematis, Clematis virginiana, called virgin's bower. It's a good substitute for honesuckle although it blooms in Aug. not June. My cousin has it growing on the trellis, and my neighbor has it growing up against a fence. I don't know where I can find it to buy, but maybe my neighbor will let me take cuttings. I tried to sprout some cuttings of my cousin's plant but it didn't work.

I know what you mean about honeysuckle, it does smell fabulous--many of my summer memories are of "honeysuckle days." But I work in the natural resources field and I have spent too much time of my life hacking the stuff off of trees I was trying to get going and wading through it in the forests, to ever willingly plant it! Same goes for russian olive!

Your yard is a clone of mine Butterfly! Row house, narrow yard, ugly chain link fence, neighbors with decks looking down on me!! I'm doing pretty good at hiding the chain link fence, except in this one area I'm talking about. I also need to hide my compost bin, or distract people's eyes from its big ugly blackness. What can I say, it was free from the city and I have a limited income!


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Post Script

Oh Jeff I forgot to say that I have planted a little patch of nicotainia. You're right, that's a northerners jasmine substitute! The kind they sell in the nurseries around here doesn't smell, so I had to start it from seed. I got it going late so it hasn't bloomed yet, it's just seedlings. They may all die from this blazing heat we have going. Luckily I planted them under the shade of my small trees. I have that going and purple petunias and alyssum. But I'm looing for some larger, structural element plants, particularly to hide the fence. Then, smaller ones in front and in nooks and crannies. That's the way I have things going now. Living in a row house with this tiny yard I have to try all kinds of strategies--plants in pots and hanging on hooks, up the walls . . . I have lily of the valley going under every little tree and bush, but it doesn't seem to bloom.


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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

lpinkmountain,
you might want to give smoke bushes a chance.
I have 2 of them.
A "Grace", which is absolutely gorgeous! I pruned it early this spring and it regrew all new red leaves.
Last August I bought a Royal purple to grow in front of the pool ladder and high deck, it grows to 15 feet high.
It hasn't grown much yet this year, but the heat will hopefully change that.
Smoke bush provides fast privacy and is absolutely gorgeous!
Everyone asks me what it is.
The honeysuckle I planted on the one side of the yard on the chain link fence is a beautiful native honeysuckle, but no fragrance. Provides great privacy because it grows far above the 4 ft chain link fence.
Good Luck with your yard. I know it's hard to find fast growing plants that look good for privacy for your postage stamp yard. (or at least that is how I feel some time).
Oh, by the way, I planted Rose of Sharon next to the native honeysuckle piece of fence, but they grow real slow and you have to prune them down every March.
I still love their flowers though.


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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

Oy, talk about troubles! I just found out today that I have verticillium wilt and I need to tear out even more of my garden and redo. More room for smelly plants but more limitations!! I have a raspberry patch against one side of the fence that was the perfect screen, but it is becoming a washout with the wilt. I just read that smokebush is susceptible to wilt too, so won't be a good plant for me. My folks have it in their suburban, northern yard though, I agree it is stunning. I am thinking about planting a pink flowering ninebark with red leaves, which I saw the other day at the nursery. I don't know if it will work in the small space though. I don't even know if it is verticillium wilt resistant. I'm afraid my Ms. Kim Lilac is infected and if I'm not careful I may loose my prize red japanese maple, so I'm kind of in a panic! Now is not exactly the time to be tearing out and redoing a garden bed. I am so bummed, those raspberries were perfect against the chainlink. Maybe I should espalier a wisteria against it. There is one done similarly up the street in my neigborhood.

So now with the wilt, no peonies, no lilacs, no roses.
:(


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Post script

Oh, and no viburnums or magnolias either!!

Additonal options besides wisteria that I don't know about as far as being resistant to verticillum wild are butterfly bush, chinese witch hazel, mock orange (dwarf), clethera and fothergilla. I have personally never found clethera and fothergilla to be that fragrant.


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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

  • Posted by mare2 5bSt.Louis (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 17, 08 at 11:24

I know you're looking for permanent shrubs, and I don't know about verticillum wilt, but just thought I'd share something that works for me in a similar zone. Even though it's not hardy here, I plant a night blooming jasmine (cestrum nocturnum) in the ground in summer. It grows so fast that I can smell it from late June on, and then in August, I take cuttings that root very quickly in the heat. For some reason I have the best luck over-wintering the smaller cuttings, anyway. In spring the process starts all over again. Sometimes I even keep a couple and plant one in the ground and keep another in a pot, and that way the potted one is *huge* by the following spring and becomes the one I put in the ground.

Only negative is that it makes me a murderer every winter. Premeditated. But I get over it. ;)
'Mare


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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

lpinkmountain,
I am so sorry to hear about your wilt problem.
I totally understand your disappointment.
All the money you put out and work for nothing.
You know, any of the shrubs that doesn't have the wilt, you could pot them up in big pots from Walmart,
at least til your vines grow in, in a couple of years.
You can grow anything in a container. Literally.
Check out the container forum and read about the trees people grow in containers.
In any case, I hope you have luck in finding beautiful vines to cover the ugly fences.
Good Luck!


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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

My garden has had a tough time this year! Thanks for the jasmine tip Mare. I had some jasmine as a potted plant once but I wasn't very good at keeping it alive. But jasmine is one of my absolute favorite scents, right behind rose and lily of the valley. I love plants so much but seem to have a brown thumb! Things are kind of on hold until I figure out what is going to happen with the wilt. Also, I may be moving so I am using annuals to fill in temporarily. Whatever makes it thru til fall will provide the bones if I stay.


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RE: Night time wafting fragrance

An annual you might try is moonflower. They get big white flowers and a yummy fragrance at night. Also one of my favorites is heliotrope. Just sitting out on my patio and got a wonderful "waft", wonder what it is from!


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