Fragrances that Surprise--TOW
Tue, 13 Apr 2004 23:20:42 PDT
I place great value on fragrance in flowers, and take the trouble to have a
sniff at most things. So many spring flowers are beautifully scented: the
perfume on entering an RHS show in February or March is quite wonderful.
Warmth, however is often needed to release it, hence the failure to notice
it in the garden.

I have no objection to the stinks of aroids and frits, but what I really
hate is the scent of lilies and hyacinths. A bed of trumpet or oriental
lilies pumping out their sickly pong pollutes the air about it, and I have
to leave - much though I admire the plants and their flowers. I once got a
pew at a wedding immediately adjacent to a great mass of lilies and was
poisoned throughout the service. As Shakespeare said: 'Lilies that fester
smell far worse than weeds.' Lilium candidum is an honourable exception.

While on a rant about lilies, I object very strongly to the florists' trick
of emasculating the flowers, to prevent the pollen staining. The intention
is admirable, perhaps, but it removes the beauty of the flower - that circle
of six orange anthers poised above the segments give the flower life and
beauty, lost when they are removed.

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Gardens Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP


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