May the scent be with you!

Wisteria floribunda "alba"

Wisteria floribunda “alba”

Welcome to my Wisteria!
We have had this since we first built the pergola, well over 10 years ago. It grows in one of 4 huge pots, positioned at each corner, as the pergola was built on an existing concrete slab, which was previously the site of an old shed, that was there when we first moved in. It was right outside the kitchen window, would you believe, so it had to go! It left a perfect spot for a seating area under a pergola, but lack of soil here, meant all the plants would be container grown. The wisteria has plodded on, not making as much growth as I would have expected, considering the feeding it gets, being pot grown. After a few years, it started flowering, but never very well. All the promising buds seemed to shrivel up and fall off. But this year – wow! It’s never flowered as well as this. I had to measure the racemes – they were over 16 inches/40cm long! And I’ve been able to appreciate its famous scent for the first time. I can only assume it’s been the wet spring. I’ll definitely be keeping it better watered in future!

For my other selections, I’m going to take you to the front garden.


It’s only a narrow strip, alongside the necessary parking area. It already had a huge yucca when we came, and there was no way we were going to remove that! It is south facing, and so is warm and sunny, which, along with our sandy soil, makes it perfect for sun-lovers, hence it is our Mediterranean garden. Our back garden is more shady, and so these plants do better out here, some of them having already made the move.

Elaeagnus angustifolia "Quicksilver"

Elaeagnus angustifolia “Quicksilver”

I love this! It has really flourished since its move from the back garden, where it struggled. The silver leaves really sing out at you. One of its alternative names is “Russian olive”, and you can see why! You can just make out its tiny, yellow flowers, snuggled under the leaves. But, boy, do you notice the scent! It hits you as soon as you get out of the car! Very sweet and heavy. It smells different to the other Elaeagnus I bought recently, which with its creamy white flowers, is much lighter and fresher – at least to my nostrils!

Prostanthera cuneata

Prostanthera cuneata

Now, this little gem is different, in that it’s not the flowers, pretty white blooms with a lilac tinge, that are scented, it’s the leaves. It’s an evergreen, ground cover plant, only reaching a max of 1m., with whorls of dark green, densely packed small leaves. When rubbed, they emit a strong aromatic fragrance, somewhat herb-like. It’s other name, the “Australian mint bush”, is somewhat misleading. It’s definitely not mint it smells of!

And, of course, you can see, our French lavender! It needs no introduction. What self-respecting Mediterranean garden would be without lavender! I wouldn’t be without lavender. It’s scent is so pungent, but so relaxing. I have several areas of lavender throughout the whole garden – in cottage borders, in herb beds and in pots. It’s mainly self-propagated, English lavender in the back. The more tender French variety, prefers this more sheltered area.

And the Coronilla, which featured in my very first posts, is still flowering its socks off and smelling beautiful. What a plant!

8 thoughts on “May the scent be with you!

  1. Chloris

    Your Wisteria is lovely. I love white ones. You are right about the sweet scent of Eleagnus angustifolia, it is wonderful. Do you grow many roses? You love fragrance so much I imagine you must seek out the sweetest smelling ones.

    1. thelonggardenpath Post author

      I do love roses, and grow them, but not with the success I would hope for. They seem to succumb to every rose disease going, and with my desire to grow as organically as possible, the diseases seem to win, and they weaken. A shady garden, with sandy soil, doesn’t help. However, I keep persevering, and the flowers make up for everything! I can’t imagine my garden, so focused on scent, without roses. David Austin’s English roses are among my favourites, with their old fashioned appearance and scent, along with disease resistance and repeat flowering – the best of everything. I must do a post on my roses soon! Thanks Chloris!

  2. angiesgardendiaries

    Serious Wisteria envy going on here! I gave up after 12 years (here and old garden) trying to grow Wisteria. The flowers, without fail, were always affected by a late frost. What a lovely specimen you have – hopefully it’s just taken so long to reach its best and will continue to improve for you.

    1. thelonggardenpath Post author

      I do hope you are right! Frost may be another factor I hadn’t considered. We haven’t had much of that this year. Still, that I can’t control and I will keep watering anyway!

  3. Cathy

    Definitely worth waiting for – they need trust and patience, I think, although I feel sorry for Angie and her frosts. Mine took 6 years to flower and I cried when I saw the first flower buds! I still don’t think I have ever noticed a scent on it though. I am not a great one for shrubs though but I can see the attrcation of scented shrubs like these though. Thanks for sharing.

  4. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Thank you, Cathy. You can appreciate then, my upset, when these long awaited buds just dropped off! Fingers crossed that Angie is right, and it’s just the beginning. The scent is very delicate – like pinks, but not as strong.

  5. Christina

    I don’t think it would have been lack of water that stopped your wisteria flowering before (very beautiful btw). It doesn’t like shade but will grow without water even in my hot summers. Mine flowers in March and has the same problem late a very late frost can damage the buds, especially the white one for some reason. You should grab a coffee or glass or wine and sit and enjoy the perfume.


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