Report From PIA – September 3
Today, my garden reminds me that growth is always possible. Without going into details here, it suffices to say that I really need to be reminded of that right now.
When I started Report from PIA, I vowed to use these “four seasons of conscious cultivation” to expand my palette of plants, among other goals. There are thousands that are currently unknown to me, and I think it’s good mental, not to mention professional, training to get to know more. This morning I decided that today I would learn about a new plant.
A visit to the garden center gave me that opportunity. As I strolled though the pots of perennials I came across a pot of Linnaea borealis, aka Twinflower. Why hadn’t I heard of this plant before? Native to North America, and several other places in the world, this low sub-shrub has tiny, paired flowers and was named after Carl Linnaeus, the father of the binomial classification system that gives us botanic names.
Twinflower flowers are fragrant, although you’d have to practically lie on top of it to sniff the small blooms. But scent is scent, so I planted it under my Sweet Bay Magnolia in the fragrance garden.
Most of the plants in this garden have foliage or flowers that are aromatic. From the witch hazel’s flowers in the winter to the Cimicfuga in the fall, this garden smells good. I’m especially pleased with how the Summer Ice Daphne (Daphne × transatlantica ‘Summer Ice’) is growing. I bought this shrub from Avant Gardens last summer when it was only six inches high. Not only has it bloomed non-stop for two summers, but it has also grown into a well-shaped shrub about two feet high. The variegated foliage is as pretty as the flowers are fragrant.
Although the fragrance garden is still only 2/3 planted, the plants are beginning to fill in. There are only a few things that I have clearly put in the wrong place, but if something didn’t need moving, it wouldn’t be a garden, would it?
After planting the small Linnaea, I take a moment to sit in this garden. I still myself, shed today’s upsetting events, and let the perfumes in this garden remind me that growth is always possible.