A different kind of white I like

Today while walking the dog, I thought about how much I like white flowers in summer and how little I like the white of the snow these days.  If it hadn’t been so cold, I would have stopped to take more photos of my dog gallivanting in the snow. I am certain that he far prefers the white of snow to the white of flowers. Winter is my dog’s season ~ he’s bursting with energy and enthusiasm. If he could, he’d happily spend his day running along the river bank in a nearby park.

I look at my wicker chairs that didn’t quite make it into the garage before the snow arrived and I try to imagine when next I will be sitting in them.

Tonight as I was looking through photographs from last summer, I came across this image of Nicotiana sylvestris. As I sat looking at it, I vividly remembered how wonderfully this plant scented the summer’s early evening air. That’s why every year I grow large numbers of this plant throughout both my front and back gardens.

I love an array of scents in the garden. They linger in my mind long after the flowers have finished blooming.Do you have a favourite flower scent that holds good memories for you?

37 thoughts on “A different kind of white I like

  1. The Garden Ms. S says:

    Oh, I love the scent of Nicotiana and the look of it.
    For scent, often I will pot up a small heliotrope for a table outside. Someone told me once they heard it called ‘cherry pie plant’ because of the smell. I’m not sure that’s what I would call it, but I love the scent.
    ps. It will be spring before you know it…it is headed your way! 🙂

  2. Rothschild Orchid says:

    Oh I do love wafty summer scents. Sweet peas on a summers evening in the veg plot are heavenly and I just can’t resist the smell of roses on a warm day. Damn it! Now you have me longing for the summer again!
    RO :o)

  3. Karen - An Artist's Garden says:

    Oh – scent – it dives straight to the memory bank – I do like the smell of wisteria, currently I am enjoying the daphne in the garden, and thanks for the reminder to grow Nicotiana.
    It wont be long before your chairs are in use again!
    K

  4. Suzi Q says:

    A white lily comes to mind… I’m tired of this snow colour too, saw a picture of a bunch of different yellow flowers in a magazine the other day, I’m dreaming that may this years colour scheme…

  5. Gail says:

    Kate, One of the first garden scents I became aware of as a child were the earliest iris. They smelled of purple soda and always and forever make me think of the blue haired ladies who grew them. I do love N sylvestris~the scent is enchanting~ and am hoping it reseeds in the garden. gail

  6. kate/high altitude gardening says:

    Jasmine and Plumeria are my two biggest faves though both of them are grown indoors due to my chilly climate.
    Outdoors, it’s the lilacs. I have 3 giant lilacs that border the walkway up to our front door. When they’re heavy with blossoms, after a spring rain, the fragrance is just delightful.

  7. Shady Gardener says:

    Kate, I love the strong scents of Korean lilac and viburnum burkwoodii ‘Mohawk.’ I do not have a keen sense of smell, but these two really break through! 🙂
    Today’s temperature may get up to 28 degrees F. Perhaps the snow will continue to melt, slowly. I wonder what I’ll do when it gets to Spring-outdoors-weather? 😉 This has been a long Winter.
    Take care!

  8. Lynn says:

    Kate, your pup looks like he’s having a blast. You’re so lucky with your Nicotianas! I tried 3 different varieties last year (direct sowing) and nothing came up! I will try again. I don’t grow them, but freesia remind me so vividly of a garden we used to visit when I was little. So sweet and springy.

  9. Monica the Garden Faerie says:

    I know it’s not much consolation, but I love how those blue wicker chairs look under the snow! I also love Nicotiana, hope some of my pink ones (from seeds) will come back. A friend has a really gorgeous yellow-green one; I forget the cultivar name. Have you winter-sowed? There’s still plenty of time for that for you, by the looks of things!

  10. joey says:

    First Kate, it’s so wonderful to again hear your voice! For me, it’s Lily-of-the-valley, my mother’s (my 1st gardening mentor) favorite. When I would see a big smile and the freckles on her nose coming in from the garden, I knew she was ‘on to’ a good thing 🙂

  11. sandy says:

    oh so much snow on those chairs. A fragrance or two for me is honeysuckle, summer evenings and just today when walking through an area filled with orange groves, and a slight breeze was reminded of my teenage years when we moved into a new housing complex in an area that was once all orange groves. There were still lots of trees left standing and oh the smell, was wonderful.

  12. dinahmow says:

    Oh, so many scents! My earliest memories are of plants that do not grow here so I have had to make “new memories” from Cananga odorata (ylangylang,)gingers, some acacias, and lilies and strange(to me) jungle flowers.
    I’d love a Boronia megastigma, but it would throw a fit at the mere suggestion of the tropics!

  13. Noelle (azplantlady) says:

    I do love the fragrance of Alyssum. I have two pots full of them now as they perfume the air fall through spring in the desert. I will have to pull them out in May when the weather gets too warm though.

  14. Rosie leaves 'n blooms says:

    I have a packet of Nicotiana sylvestris seeds ready to sow as I would love to have this impressive plant and its scent intoxicating the air in the garden during the evenings. Its a hard plant to source in the green over here in the UK hence my purchase of seeds. Another one I love the smell of is Migonette

  15. Rosie leaves 'n blooms says:

    I have a packet of Nicotiana sylvestris seeds ready to sow as I would love to have this impressive plant and its scent intoxicating the air in the garden during the evenings. Its a hard plant to source in the green over here in the UK hence my purchase of seeds. Another one I love the smell of is Migonette

  16. Rosie leaves 'n blooms says:

    I have a packet of Nicotiana sylvestris seeds ready to sow as I would love to have this impressive plant and its scent intoxicating the air in the garden during the evenings. Its a hard plant to source in the green over here in the UK hence my purchase of seeds. Another one I love the smell of is Migonette

  17. Sandy says:

    It has to be jasmine for me, too. It doesn’t grow outdoors here, but I like to have it in the house.
    Have you ever done a moon garden?

  18. anna maria says:

    Such bright and beautiful photographs. I love Nicotiana too, it reminds me of my father and how he would grow it and tell me to come out and smell it on a hot summer night. Ahhhhh.

  19. Selma says:

    My favourite scent of all time is the Port Wine Magnolia. It smells like juicy fruit chewing gum. I had one in the garden of my old house and when the house was sold the new owner cut my beautiful magnolia down. I cried for weeks.

  20. naturegil says:

    Kate I plan on growing more Nicotiana in my garden for its lovely scent..however my favorite scent in my summer garden is lavender..everywhere I plant lavender!
    Spring is ahead..I can feel it!

  21. OldRoses says:

    I love Nicotiana sylvestris! I have a white shade garden. I think the white really “pops” in the shade. I’m most excited about white foxglove that I grew from seed last year. I’m hoping that they will bloom this year.

  22. Meredith says:

    For me the favorite scent emanates from the huge blossoms of the magnolia grandiflora. Honeysuckle, lavender, and gardenia come in close to the top spot, too. 🙂
    Your puppy looks to be having a ball!

  23. naturegirl says:

    Kate hang in there! Spring is on it’s way to your world..I assure you..soon you’ll be out sitting on your wicker chairs..dream..and wish..and dream Spring!
    Nice to keep in touch Kate! xo aNNa

  24. Aiyana says:

    Spring happened in Arizona! About the time you are right in the middle of your spring, we will be well over 100 degrees.
    I’m glad to see you back. I finally got around to posting–lots of reasons I got off track–but hope to keep it up, and also visit my blogger friends on a regular basis.
    Aiyana

  25. Annie in Austin says:

    The fragrances of lilacs and double mockorange are what I remember most, but lilacs are lost to me now. I grew white nicotiana too- so far hasn’t done much here in Texas. But as compensation we have Sweet Olive…tiny white, not showy flowers with a lovely scent.
    Should we hope you are soon happier about weather and your dog is less so?
    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  26. Weeping Sore says:

    Kate, how wonderful to see so back in blogland! I miss your writing and your take on life. I have not, however, missed the kind of winters you have. Hope you survive intact until the Spring thaw.

  27. Pam says:

    As a child, oddly enough, the scent of petunias (they were something my Mom would plant in the summer in pots on the front porch) – they have that distinct fragrance that I wouldn’t describe as nice, but just distinct. Here, in my garden – the fragrance of tea olive is the best (walking around in the evenings, when my one large tea olive ‘tree’ scents the entire garden). Then, it has to be roses, and those mornings when I go outside with the dogs and I can smell their fragrance as I walk around – wonderful! Oh, there are the gardenias too…

  28. Tatyana says:

    Hi Kate! I love snow and I love your snowy pictures! We didn’t have any of it this winter. As for the scent, marigold and nasturtium’ smell remind me of my childhood and my Mom gardens. I am not a big fan of the orange color of these flowers, but their smell triggers very good memories. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope your snow is melting!

  29. Sarah Laurence says:

    I can relate to getting sick of snow, although not this year in Maine. I do love your snow photos and the scent of Nicotiana. My favorite scent would be Gardenias. They remind me of travels to exotic places and also my high school prom (the corsage.) Romance!

  30. Judith says:

    I love Nicotiana too, but my favourite memory scent is violets and pansies-straight back to my dad’s garden and childhood.
    It will soon be Spring, it is gently wafting North.

  31. Esther Montgomery says:

    There are some garden scents I like but I’m more aware of the ones I don’t. For several years, I’ve been waiting for my jasmine to flower. Last summer, it did. Pretty white flowers, lovely, feathery leaves – and a smell in the garden as if someone had just taken a bath in it. I’ve arranged for it to move home. Just waiting for transport.
    Esther

  32. MrBrownThumb says:

    Kate,
    Thanks for the reminder of the Nicotiana. I grew it once a couple of years ago and have forgotten to grow it again. Just yesterday I was ordering seeds and saw it and thought to add it, but I forgot.
    I’ll have to see if I can pic it up as a seedling.

  33. Wildlife Gardener says:

    How lovely to see you are back blogging again, dear Kate…I have missed your posts 🙂
    I have loved all the snow this Winter…because of the beautiful light it has brought, into the otherwise dark days of Winter…

  34. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you still have snow! It is beautiful though. I too am a big sylvestris fan, but I never get much scent from them, not as much as from other nicotiana, like bella. I love the stately look of it though.

  35. ejenne says:

    I do like Jasmine, Daphnie and Magnolias (all white) and I do like the snow, but it never whitens our streets, let alone fills wicker chairs!

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