Gotta Garden

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sweet Box

Approaching my front door with the mail in hand, a delicious light, yet sweet, scent caught my attention. I turned my head to look for its origin when I realized it was right there, the sweet box or Sarcococca confusa. It's been here several years, but I think this is the first time I've noticed mine exuding that legendary fragrance.

IMG_3359 031207 cropped

Some years ago, living in the Seattle-ish area (King County is very large), we lived for a time where there was a hedge of sweet box and I loved it. It wasn't until we moved back here to Virginia and then until I redid the front door bed that I was able to find a place for sweet box.

They have been evergreen and, really, uncomplaining background shrubs. Growing from small plants, they've begun to fill in nicely (hence, the scent, I suppose). The flowers are tiny and white, but grow in quantity along the stems. I ordered mine from a favorite online nursery, Flower Scent Gardens, which I am sorry to report is going out of business soon. Several times I've placed orders and always received lovely plants...and very nice bonuses as well! I think the owner reads minds in that the bonus(es) was always something I wanted or wished I had ordered! This is a business that will be missed.

Anyway, I'm about to go out to run some errands...and guess what, I'm taking the front door so I can catch another whiff!

Click here to see a better picture of the flowers from Flower Scent Gardens' site.

10 comments:

Yolanda Elizabet said...

The scent of sweet box is wonderful. I got a few cuttings of friends of mine who have a big shrub of sweet box in a big pot near their front door.

My cuttings need to do a bit of growing but I hope to smell their sweet scent in a few years too. I'll put them in a pot near my front door too as they are not quite hardy over here so when it's really cold I can pop them indoors.

Annie in Austin said...

Hello Gotta Garden,

Elizabeth Lawrence mentions this shrub, but I don't think I've seen it [or smelled it]. I'm glad you managed to capture your plants before the company went out of business. And that something you loved from Seattle would consent to grow in Virginia!

The surprise scent for me this spring has been a Chinese Holly near the back garden gate. Maybe it didn't bloom the last couple of springs since we moved here? I don't remember seeing flowers before, and my husband can't remember any scent in previous years, either.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Gotta Garden said...

Greetings, yolanda elizabet! They are a nice front door plant, I think! I'm shocked to think that we might be warmer (in the winter) here than you, but it just shows my geographic/climatic ignorance and so I'll say no more!

Hi Annie: I came across this page ...and there it is, "male flowers very fragrant"! Lucky you! How does it smell?

You know, I had been reading on another blog about the memory plants in her garden (plants given to her by others) and I realized that I really don't have many in my garden from others (a few)...but, then, I realized, like today with the sweet box, that I do still have a memory garden...plants with history personal to me, many of places rather than people. Maybe a reflection of moving quite often (hopefully, that's all done).

MrBrownThumb said...

Hi Gotta Garden,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes you were right with the term header...I'm experimenting with somethings and will be playing around with mine. If you want I could see if I can help you make one with a photo of yours. Just send me an e-mail through the blogger profile. It would only take a few minutes to resize a pic and add some text or whatever.

Kate said...

I am enjoying your blog. The sweet box must be lovely ... I have added your blog to my 'playing in the dirt' links.

Amazing ... I am a Sagittarian of 49 yrs. as well.

Green thumb said...

Dear Gotta garden, I wish I could enjoy the fragrance of this beautiful flower bur sadly there are none existing in India or at least none that I know of. In fact I hit the internet in hope of finding any nearby but the nearest are said to be the native of Himalayas!

Ki said...

Thanks for pointing me to another scented shrub. Unfortunately it's a zone 7 plant so like your gardenias which I would love to plant, I will have to forgo this one too.

Gotta Garden said...

Oh mrbrownthumb! You have made my day!! I will do that! Thank you! Hooray!

Hi kate! Welcome and thanks! That's too great, isn't it!

Oh green thumb, I am sorry. I wish you weren't so far away! Times like these I wish the rules weren't so strict...I'd try to send you cuttings...but, we'd both probably get in trouble...sigh.

ki, I am glad to see you back! Say it isn't so! Flower Scent Gardens claim it is hardy to zone 6...I've had good luck with their plants and he seems very knowledgeable. So, maybe??

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Smells wonderful from here... ;) I loved all of the pics of your spring bulbs. Ours are just pushing through--now that the snow finally melted!

Gotta Garden said...

Hi blackswamp_girl! Hooray that your snow has melted! It feels like we really are...finally...beginning to have an end to winter (shhhh...I didn't really say that?? Don't want to curse myself or anyone else and have a snowstorm sneak in!)

Glad you came by!

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