Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Garden - Today

The overwhelming impression of the garden today is the fragrance.  As soon as you walk close the beautiful smell envelops you; in the evening the entire yard smells fragrant.  It's the valerian primarily, though in some corners of the garden there's also a strong scent of boxwood.

Visually, the tall orange spikes of foxtail lilies and the lesser spikes of the yellow baptisia or wild indigo punctuate the garden with strong vertical accents, while the remaining pink peonies are the biggest flowers of all.  The sweet-smelling valerian is the tall white flower in the left background above, much more conspicuous for it's fragrance than it's flower.

The foxtail lilies and the baptisia certainly accent the garden, but the close-up of the lily in bloom (below) struck me as the most fascinating picture.  The plant blooms slowly from the bottom of the flower spike upwards, and the rusty-brown stamens are strikingly obvious at this distance.

We've also got digitalis in bloom, a gentle pink one, but more will appear in the next few days.  You practically have to crawl on the ground to look up into the individual florets.


And this is the valerian, a tall open plant, the tallest well over 6 feet, with few leaves near the top, and umbellifera-like clusters of tiny white flowers.  It's taller than anything else, and it also self-seeds easily and widely, so it will soon decorate your garden if you don't control it - or spread and bring its fragrance with it if you choose to let it.

 The individual flowers are very tiny - obviously powerful for the fragrance they provide.  Individual blossoms might be 1/4 inch across.  But at this time of year it's my favourite, because it colours your whole experience every time you walk to the garden.


  1. So beautiful! And I never knew that Valerian was fragrant. Masses of it grow along roadsides near me, so now I shall have to stop and breathe its fragrance.

  2. Hi there, Thanks for coming to my blog. Hope you will return often --and I'll return to yours... Hubby and I are retired and grow flowers--especially roses... We also love traveling and hiking... AND--I love my backyard birds....

    Love seeing your gorgeous flowers... Happy Canada Day to you...

  3. Your Valerian photos are great. It is one of my favorite fragrant plants, I always go sniff them when they are in bloom. I have trouble with the taste of the tea, though. I like your vertical yellow and orange accents.