Tag Archives: The Fragrant Garden

ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCENTS ON ALL OF CAPE ANN – ‘SAILOR’S DELIGHT’ SUMMERSWEET

Clethra alnifolia is more commonly known by its many descriptive names of Summersweet, Sweet Pepperbush, and Honeysweet. In an old book on fragrance, written by Louise Beebe Wilder, she writes that in Gloucester of old it was described as ‘Sailor’s Delight.’ During the 19th and early 20th century, as told by Wilder, the sailors entering the harbor on homebound ships would reportedly delight in its fragrance wafting out to see.

Much of Niles Pond road is to this day lined with great thickets of ‘Sailor’s Delight.’ Wild Clethra growing on Cape Ann blooms during the month of August.

The following is an excerpt from a book that I wrote back in 2004-2007, which was published by David R. Godine in 2009. The book is about designing landscape habitats for wild creatures and for people, titled Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities: Notes from a Gloucester Garden, and all that I wrote then, still holds true to day.

“Summersweet bears small white florets held on racemes, and depending on the cultivar may be shaded with varying hues of pink to rose-red. The tapering spires of fragrant blossoms appear in mid to late summer. Clethra has a sweet and spicy though somewhat pungent aroma, and when the summer air is sultry and humid, the fragrance permeates the garden, Summersweet is a nectar food attractive to bees and a wide variety of butterflies, notably the Silver-spotted Skipper.” See more at Oh GardenMyriad species of bees and butterflies, along with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, are attracted to Clethra for its sweet nectar, while American Robins, Goldfinches and warblers dine on Summersweet’s ripened berries.
Clethra fruits ripening

DUE TO THE PENDING STORM, KIM SMITH PROGRAM “THE FRAGRANT GARDEN” HAS BEEN POSTPHONED

I regret to say tomorrow’s program “The Fragrant Garden,” in Belmont, has been postponed until further notice. I know that a group of friends from Cape Ann were planning to attend and will let you know when the new date is scheduled. Thank you!

Mixed bouquet of different cultivars of S. vulgaris including Monge, Maiden’s Blush, Common Lilac,, Beauty of Moscow, and President Grevy.

Lecture: The Fragrant Garden Tuesday at the Andover Garden Club

Thank you Frances Wheeler for the flyer for my upcoming lecture at the Andover Garden Club

The Fragrant Garden

10:00 AM-Noon, April 2, 2013

South Church, 41 Central Street, Andover MA

$10 for guests (includes refreshments); free to members

Refreshments and Brief Business Meeting Precede Presentation

 

The air impregnated with the scents of flowers and foliage imbues a memorable atmosphere in the garden, playing the subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, role of strengthening the ambiance we wish to create. Through photographs, examination of historical precedent, and discussion of specific plant varieties, landscape and interior designer, author, illustrator, and photo and film journalist Kim Smith will provide the key elements for creating a fragrant garden. Her discussion will include a list of the most highly scented plants.

Smith, proprietor of Kim Smith Designs (www.kimsmithdesigns.com), is the author of Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! (published by David R. Godine), a Boston Globe “Best of 2009” pick. She specializes in connecting the home to the outside and in creating gardens for people and pollinators, with a focus on native trees and shrubs, wildflowers, and fragrant plants.

For more information, contact Betty Chapman, Phone: 978-470-2627bettychapman@verizon.net.

Founded in 1927, the Andover Garden Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that encourages the study and practice of horticulture, landscape design, and floral design; aids in the beautification of the town of Andover; and helps protect and conserve natural resources. A member of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc., and National Garden Clubs, Inc., the club provides both financial and hands-on support to a variety of municipal, educational, and environmental organizations throughout the region. Information about joining the Andover Garden Club is available from AGC membership chairs Yvonne Glendon (978-247-8960yglendon@comcast.net) and Dana MacKay (978-475-4451dmmm51@yahoo.com).