Six on Saturday – Spring Scents and Surprises

It’s Saturday morning and time to look around the garden for new things. I have been noticing pleasant fragrances upon stepping out on my porch in the morning and did a little detective work. Warmer weather and longer days bring the fragrant flowers into bloom. Nothing says tropical summer like the scent of Frangipani in the air.

This is a locally common Frangipani (Plumeria spp.) I have no idea what variety it is, but these are everywhere and likely shared as cuttings for decades. A friend gave me a cutting several years ago, it is now about four feet tall. They make a nice small tree, if you know how to prune them. I don’t, though it is big enough to give it a try this winter when dormancy reappears.

The first Tropical Gardenia (Tabernaemontana divaricata) of the season. These are not as fragrant as the Gardenia jasminoides, but leave a light scent at night. The Frangipani are also more noticeable at night.

I pruned the Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) rather severely about a month ago. It is rewarding me with fresh, deep green leaves and a flush of fragrant flowers. This fragrance is more noticeable during daylight hours, so I have round the clock scents right now.

Now I am wobbling into things that smell weird. This is a New Gold Lantana. I have issues with this plant from working on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where it was a theme plant. There were so many plants around town, I never wanted to see another one. I guess it took me 27 years to get over it. I bought two in pots last year as they are sterile and a great butterfly plant. They remained in their pots until a couple of weeks ago and look at them now.

Gallardias or Indian Blankets (Gallardia pulchella). Another wildflower that does well in hot Florida sand. Despite being considered native for years they have been ruled non native. These have jumped into the crushed shell walkways for some reason. Left in place and stepped on sometimes, they are thriving with no water and growing in the shell. Amazing. Do I care if they are native? Not one bit.

Presenting the ‘Alaska’ Nasturtium. I planted a package of these seeds a little late (February, I think. December 1 is the time here) The seeds in the beds came up, gasped and died. A few in pots grew up and flowered. My opinion on these is the varigated foliage looks a bit sickly instead of crisply attractive. Back to Jewel Mix Nasturtiums, here’s hoping I will remember in December.

Voila, my Six for this Saturday. To see more SOS posts follow this like to Jim’s blog –

Happy Gardening!!


22 comments on “Six on Saturday – Spring Scents and Surprises

  1. fredgardener says:

    Hi, I didn’t know that Nasturtiums could grow properly in your area. They should not last long if it is very hot? Do you have red varieties like the ones we have here in Europe? Otherwise, I’m looking forward to maybe seeing my first plumeria flowers this summer! 🤞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am imagining your garden scents. I have a Sweet Almond that I planted in the woods for some reason. It stopped blooming, but many of the trees were not as thick back then. I didn’t know that about the Atlanta Olympics. Lantanas are easy to grow, so probably a good choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It smells good here right now! I did not realize how big the Sweet Almond would get and am finding out the hard way. Atlanta was overrun with bright yellow lantana for years. I have not had any here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A few nice oranges you have eh? Me too! The first frangipani is something else…it looks like a hat Sofia Lauren may have worn – such elegant curves. My blanket flowers also do best growing in the gravel at the edge of the driveway…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah Rajkotwala says:

    Ooh such wonders ❤ I bet your garden smells superb. Love the gardenia and gaillardias are so happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Frangipani are so gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cathy says:

    I love the smell of almonds, so I would probably like your Sweet Almond Bush. I have never seen one here, but they do sell Lantanas as summer container plants. How lovely to have Gaillardias seed themselves around! I have lost a couple of mine this very wet winter so will have to try and save seed from those I have as a back up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Almond is fairly cold hardy. I am not sure if it is your garden hardy! They are native to Argentina. I am not sure where the Gallardia comes from anymore..I bought a few about ten years ago and it keeps going.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. tonytomeo says:

    Frangipani is SO southern. It is one of many flowers that I miss from the Los Angeles region. I commonly bring cuttings back, but then give them away. Unfortunately, they do not perform well here. They may grow for a few years, but then succumb to frost every few years or so. They really should be protected.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. TRAILBLAZER says:

    Hello. You have an amazing garden. The lovely flowers you posted are all worth seeing. Enjoy gardening and have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Rosie Amber says:

    The New Gold Lantana is lovely, I’m glad that you got over your issues with it.


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