Gotta Garden

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Garden Education: Holly Shimizu on Fragrance at Lewis Ginter

It's been a while since I made the trek to Lewis Ginter, but, of course, I just had to make it down to hear Holly Shimizu. Aptly described in her introduction as a "real rock star in the horticulture world", we also learned she is the 2008 recipient of the American Horticulture Society's Great American Gardeners Professional Award. While I knew that she is Executive Director of the US Botanic Garden (a couple years ago, Mrs. Shimizu gave a group of us from the MWH garden a tour of Bartholdi Park.), I learned that she had a close association with Lewis Ginter. She is a former Managing Director (Her husband, we were told, designed or helped design (I'm not sure...sorry) the Japanese Garden at Lewis of my favorite places there.) . You may also know her from her 12 years as a host of The Victory Garden.

So, it was with some excitement and anticipation that I settled in to hear this talk and see some great slides. We began to hear and learn that we can have fragrance in our gardens through all the seasons. A precious vial of Rose Oil (expensive and difficult to find) was passed around for us all to sniff. Our sense of smell, we learned is way behind our canine friends. If you think about it, we've all seen dogs at airports and know they are used by police and the military.

Among the earliest of fragrances (yes, I'm going to share some from her list....lucky us, the attendees, as we came home with the list...three plus well as a Bibliography...and a few favorite sources...thank you, Holly Shimizu!), are Saffron Crocus (which, now that I think of it...blooms in fall for me...anyway), Witch Hazels (like 'Orange' and 'Pallida'), Wintersweet (egads, don't remind me....that mine isn't fragrant), the Daphnes (you know I love these), violas (hard to find the true scented ones), Poet's Narcissus and, of course, Lily of the Valley.

Moving on, there are fragrant Azaleas, Lilacs, Roses, Catmint, and Dianthus. In summer...ahem...daylilies (in particular, a species, Hemerocallis citrina), Heliotrope, Gas Plant (perhaps mine will actually bloom next can hope....I'm just glad it's's my third attempt with this one), Meadowsweet, Wisteria, Honeysuckle, Mock Orange, and Carolina Allspice.

Some annuals we might consider are Sweet Alyssum, Four O'Clocks (sorry, think I might pass on this one), Sweet Peas, and some Petunias.

Moving from Summer into Autumn, the Lilies, Musk Mallow, Gardenias, Clethra and Sweet Bay Magnolia. For fragrant foliage, some will like Boxwood (I might pass on this one, too), Lemon Verbena (I adore this herb and was delighted to hear Mrs. Shimizu does, too! I'm going to try to overwinter mine this year as I always panic a bit in spring until I locate it...), Sweet Rocket (I think this one is on some of the invasive lists), Fragrant Tobacco (which we learned grows on the Shimizu roof appropriate, see previous post), Moonflower, Evening Primrose.

There were even some root suggestions. The slide presentation ended with some gorgeous shots of various gardens and then it was question time. I'm always appreciative of speakers who take questions.

It was over much too soon, but you know what....the gift shop awaited! Ha. You thought I was going to say the garden awaited! Okay, I did go out and see Lewis Ginter and I'll share that next.

Thanks so much to Holly Shimizu for an excellent talk. If you get a chance to hear her, jump on it!


Rosemary said...

Nothing better than an interesting speaker and even better fragrance in the garden, great combo.

Anonymous said...

Great photos! I want the Edge of Madness plant...except for the tiny fact that I have no place to put another plant in my garden. Thanks for your report! I met Holly Shimizu when she received an award at the AHS Great American Gardeners ceremony this past May. What a great job she has!

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