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David Epstein: Hi! Welcome to this week’s edition of Growing Wisdom and today we are here with Wayne Mezitt from Western Nurseries and we are going to be talking about scent and planting.
Wayne Mezitt: This is Clethra summersweet, it is in bloom in the swamps in July and August. This is the pink form called Ruby spice, this is the white form actually a compact white called Hummingbird and this is the one you see mostly around the swamps here. One of the garden plants that we see a lot is the Buddleia that is the butterfly bush, and that flowers’ all summer and right behind it here are one of the summer azalea, this one of those one of the later once Pennsylvania. All of them are very fragrant; all of them have their own distinctive fragrance.
David Epstein: This Clethra here the Hummingbird one, is this native?
Wayne Mezitt: It is a form of a native summersweet and this is one that we have selected because it is more compact growing in smaller structure which is good for smaller landscapes.
David Epstein: And, this particular one here is a little bit taller, how tall would this get?
Wayne Mezitt: Most of Clethras get to be in the six to eight foot range. The hummingbird only gets about four feet or maybe five feet tall.
David Epstein: Now, we are going to talk about some of the foliage, right?
Wayne Mezitt: That is something that most people do not think about. One of my favorite odors in the landscape is the PJM Rhododendron and April Snow which is one of that, it is not in bloom now and in fact the flowers do not have any fragrance but when you rob the foliage just brush up against it and you can smell that spicy clovey a little tangent aroma.
David Epstein: Yes.
Wayne Mezitt: And, if you put this beside a path or beside gate or something when you walk by it. You just brush by it and the aroma rises into the air. This is Caryopterus you can see that there is a sort of a gray color which is characteristic of a lot of fragrant foliage plants and this smell is sort of a musty sweet, what would you call it, is sort of a—?
David Epstein: It is almost like cedar, it is a very clean smell.
Wayne Mezitt: This flower is laid into the summer as well with nice blue flowers. A lot of the fragrant foliage herbs and perennials have the greatest foliage and they also have tolerated the drier conditions because they are Mediterranean plants originally.