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well, it’s purtier than sweet olive, which looks just like a tall cherry laurel, but oh, that fragrance. I wouldn’t be without a sweet olive by my front porch.
I’m on the fence about that scent. Sometimes it’s too much, or even too musky. It’s a needy scent. I also have a weird problem with S. ruscifolia’s acuminate leaf tips, but that’s a personal matter.
Give me Salvia clevelandii or Artemesia californica any day.
As soon as I hit “post”, I realized I should have tried to say something funny about those scents being more masculine anyway.
Ah, missed opportunities.
This is one cute post. You had me at hello. I’m now looking up this shrub to see if it will grow here.~~Dee
This is one of the best garden posts this year! When are the mouse and trowel awards?
(But why is it plants and sex / love always come up in the same sentence anyway? Oh yes, I KNOW why, but really, what are we all doing in our gardens behind the hedgerow? Fess up people. You first.)
Tee-hee! I was at a newcomer’s lecture at Bainbridge Gardens and a titter went through the group when this plant was introduced as “Sweet Box” – somehow there is just no escaping the sex appeal of this plant.
Only to zone 7b I see. Too bad. And yes, there is a nickname: fragrant sweetbox. I don’t know if you’d consider that cute.
And then there is lust unfulfilled.
Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) is supposed to offer delightful winter scent. I about danced when I found one at our local university plant sale, and planted it just right, neither too close nor too far from the front path. So, you’d walk up to the house through a magical cloud of daphne scent, spiced with whiffs of hyacinth and narcissus, then be enraptured by the novel fragrance of wintersweet.
Settle down, schmettle down, it would be an olfactory orgy.
Alas, things didn’t work out that way. The whatever it was in the pot wasn’t wintersweet (I still haven’t taxed it out). And one by one, the daphnes have died, as daphnes do down here in North Carolina. The two remaining ones are still delightful, perfect perfumed accompaniment in the chill clear air for watching the eclipse last night. But I know they are fleeting, and enjoy them as such, with gratitude for every scented moment they share.
But your post, Amy, reawakens hope. Maybe, I should just look around a little more. I need that kind of boost in mid-February. Thanks!
What a fun post. I have loved this plant for so long! I keep trying to get other people to plant it in their gardens, but they usually pass it over. I had it in my Bay Area garden and planted it last year here in New York. It’s February and 30-something degrees and it’s starting to bloom!
Well, I’d consider him a catch, if he’d grow here.
A good shrub is hard to find- feed him and fuss over him and he will serve you like you are a queen!
I’ve had a Sarcococca for about three years now in hopes of a lovely late-winter perfume in my garden. I suspect mine hasn’t flowered yet. It just sits there quietly, photosynthesizing and growing a tiny bit, but no flowers. I’m not going to shovel prune him in any case–it could well be our winters or too much shade, and anything that isn’t brown-dead in winter is welcome in my garden in any case.
Great post. It had me on the edge of my seat.
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