Monday, May 22, 2006

Sweet Scents of Spring

Lilac inflorescences Lilac flowers, up close

It's been a banner year for lilacs in Pocahontas County. All the bushes I've seen have been covered with blossoms, Even this old shrub in my yard, shaded by the cherry and apple trees, never pruned, has been heavy with flowers and overwhelmingly sweet-smelling. Usually, it manages half a dozen inflorescences, high out of reach of cameras and noses.

Then, just as the lilac scent began to fade, the pesky, invasive autumn olives began to bloom, and everything smelled sweet again. I just can't exterminate anything that smells this good, and gives the indigo buntings a place near the house where I can admire their color and song.

Fragrant autumn olive flowers


Dave said...

I hear you. Birds aren't necessarily the best indicators of ecosystem health; we've found hooded warbler nests in the over-abundant barberry. But hey, if the deer eat just about every native shrub, they have to make do.

Tartarian honeysucle also smells good. Though not quite as delicious as native azalea!

Rebecca Clayton said...

The exotic honeysuckles I've dealt with have not been prolific bloomers, so I haven't been conflicted about them. Which native azalea? I usually stick my nose in anything in bloom, just in case, but I can't conjure up a scent memory of azalea. The flame azalea should be coming out soon, so I'll be sure to sniff it.