Sweet Wafting Shrubbery for Spring

When I was at Reiman Gardens (Iowa State University, Ames, IA) last week, I could already smell fragrance out in the gardens.  Recent warmth has started to awaken some of our gardens recently and that scent was quite welcome.  I tracked it back to a Vernal witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) that was in full bloom; perfuming the air with a spicy scent.  Late winter and spring scent can be provided in the gardens by many of our woody plants.  Some of the many opportunities for including spring fragrance in the garden are included in this blog although knowing more specifics on proper siting and care of each selection is important.  These early perfumes are meant to attract pollinators but I can vouch for the favorable scent on all of these including the fragrant abelia (Abelia mosanensis) seen directly above and directly below.  Many of these shrubs also have decent fall color or some additional feature(s) of merit.  Check on hardiness as a couple of these are “touchy” even for us in Southern WI.

We had a very productive day both out in the gardens and at the Horticulture Center.  Larry H., Larry O., Janice and Cindy were all involved as grounds staff today with myriad tasks.  We continue to bring in the many elements of the Holiday Light Show (HLS) which has been progressing well with decent weather (sunny and 40 degrees F today).  Dennis and Lloyd continued cutting down ornamental grasses while Urban was in for some pruning.  Kathy P. worked on some odds and ends around the office. Marv B., Ron Y., Dave, Vern, Bob K. and Jim all worked on indoor carpentry projects, painting, etc.  Dr. Gredler was in for more painting and Dick H. helped with various tasks.  Maury F. was back for some errands while Ron P. continued repairing lights (lots!) before they are stored until this fall.  Peg worked on our plant records system and we had a meeting of Pam, Barb C., Polly, Marlene, Julie W. (Hedberg Library), Becky and myself about the Giant Aquarium and Story Walk program for this year.  We also saw Rollie, Maryam and many others today.

fragrant abelia (Abelia mosanensis)

white forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum)

Beaver Creek® witch alder (Fothergilla gardenii ‘KLMtwo’)

‘Christmas Cheer’ Vernal witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis)

golden mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius)

‘E. A. Bowles’ variegated mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius)

‘Marie Frances’ French lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

white fragrant viburnum (Viburnum farreri ‘Candidissimum’)

Spice Island™ Koreanspice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii ‘J. N. Select A’)

American Spice™ Burkwood viburnum (Viburnum burkwoodii ‘Duvone’)

Judd viburnum (Viburnum x juddii)