Two Shrubs for Spring Fragrance
I hold fragrant plants in very high esteem, especially those that share their scent soon after winter comes to a close. For shrubs in this category, I think my favorite is Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum), a native of the Great Plains.
The Clove Currant in the front garden is especially floriferous and powerfully scented this year. It’s been covered with clusters of small yellow flowers for almost a month.
I have mine growing right by the sidewalk. The dog walkers can be seen pausing by this shrub and taking several deep breaths of the sweet, clove-like fragrance. Sometimes they put their noses up to the flowers, but you can detect the scent from a good 10′ away.
Once the flowers are gone, Clove Currant is unremarkable. However, that month of fragrant blooms more than makes up for its quiet presence for the remainder of the year.
Korean Spice Viburnum ‘Compactum’ (Viburnum carlesii) is a fragrant shrub that’s new to the front garden. This is its second spring. The pink buds opened a few days ago.
The clusters of pinkish-white flowers have a very sweet fragrance. This one is planted near the front door. Right now, its scent is mixing with that of the Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) and Stocks (Matthiola incana) growing in pots.
This isn’t a very good picture (I took it, not Judy) – hard to separate the Viburnum from the background. Unfortunately, this year there are only three clusters. Last year there was just one, so I suppose this is progress. I do hope that next year we’ll see a lot more flowers.
‘Compactum’ grows to no more than about 4′, so it’s easier to fit into a small space than the full-size shrub.
You may think that I’ve forgotten about Lilacs (Syringa), which some consider to be the queen of the fragrant shrubs. But don’t worry, I’ll have something to say about Lilacs soon.
What’s your favorite shrub for spring fragrance?