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Old 08-01-2011, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default What has just started blooming in your garden?

Today the clethra alnifolia in my yard finally started blooming. I was tipped off by the increased pollinator activity (they've been stopping by to check on the yet-to-open blossoms for several days...).

If you are not familiar with this New England native, the scent is spectacular.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:43 PM   #2
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I have heard of it and I was supposed to buy some last year, can't remember why I put it back--either not the straight species, or I decided to go with more black gum trees since I don't see them often.

I didn't realize that they scent was so spectacular--you make me want it all the more.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:54 AM   #3
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I didn't realize that they scent was so spectacular--you make me want it all the more.
I think it's a little bit like jasmine - sweet but kind of musky. The books say the scent can carry as far as 50 feet! I have one still little plant, so it's not much except up close, but I have hopes of it taking off (and of buying a few more)...

How about you? What's blooming in your yard at this point?
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:33 AM   #4
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I think it's a little bit like jasmine - sweet but kind of musky.

Good to know. Years ago, I did some landscaping for a friend of ours...and she mentioned loving jasmine. I wish I'd known at the time that I could've suggested a native with a similar smell. ....actually I have no idea what jasmine smells like, so the "sweet but kind of musky" helps a bit.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:49 AM   #5
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We have three young clethra that are doing well and one (put in just this year, and the only one bought from a "regular" nursery) that is struggling. The scent is wonderful, but the plants do need a fair amount of water.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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We have three young clethra that are doing well and one (put in just this year, and the only one bought from a "regular" nursery) that is struggling. The scent is wonderful, but the plants do need a fair amount of water.
I thought of them for near the (future) pond...I may have to make a bog/wetland area with a liner.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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I thought of them for near the (future) pond...I may have to make a bog/wetland area with a liner.
That would be more necessary with, say, button bush. I find my Clethara pretty able to withstand moderate dryness, so I just make sure that if it's been particularly dry that I give it a drink every once in a while. Now, the button bush is a different story. It cannot tolerate dryness, that's why I have mine, not near the pond, but in it!
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:25 PM   #8
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That would be more necessary with, say, button bush. I find my Clethara pretty able to withstand moderate dryness, so I just make sure that if it's been particularly dry that I give it a drink every once in a while. Now, the button bush is a different story. It cannot tolerate dryness, that's why I have mine, not near the pond, but in it!
Thanks for the info...hopefully, when I'm ready to plant, I'll remember or find this thread. I do remember you stating your button bush was in a pot in the pond...so mybe I can remember this.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:45 AM   #9
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I have large Salvia Penstemenoids blooming like crazy with big purple flowers. It loves moist soil so I have it planted where the air conditioner drips. This is the strangest smelling plant. Smells like old antique furniture sometimes does when you open the door or a drawer, thats the closest comparison I can come up with. When it rained you could smell it several feet away and the entire courtyard was fragrant. Its a Texas Native once thought to have disappeared until someone ran across it growing wild. I got a few seeds from a woman in Austin. I keep checking it for seed on the spent blooms and haven't seen a single one yet. Maybe I have no pollinator? I think I will try drying it to see if it smells good dry when it needs to be cut back.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:28 AM   #10
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I have large Salvia Penstemenoids blooming like crazy with big purple flowers. It loves moist soil so I have it planted where the air conditioner drips. This is the strangest smelling plant. Smells like old antique furniture sometimes does when you open the door or a drawer, thats the closest comparison I can come up with. When it rained you could smell it several feet away and the entire courtyard was fragrant. Its a Texas Native once thought to have disappeared until someone ran across it growing wild. I got a few seeds from a woman in Austin. I keep checking it for seed on the spent blooms and haven't seen a single one yet. Maybe I have no pollinator? I think I will try drying it to see if it smells good dry when it needs to be cut back.
I actually like that smell. Too bad it's not native up here and probably wouldn't survive the winters anyway...

That is a creative way to insure it gets enough moisture. And you're using a byproduct of energy consumption to a good purpose!
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alnifolia, asimina, august, blooming, boom, chionanthus, chionanthus viginicus, clethra, flowers, fragrance, fragrant, garden, late summer, native plants, pollinator activity, ruby spice, salvia penstemenoids, scent, smell, start, started, summer blooms, viginicus

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