Originally created 04/23/04

Spring brings on an aromatic progression

Which do you enjoy more, the colors or the aromas of spring?

The colors are more apparent, but the scents - they're delicious. And, as with the colors, one by one the different aromas come and go. Trying to decide which is best brings to mind an old Disney movie in which Davy Crockett was trying to judge pies at a fair. Whichever pie he had just taken a bite of was his favorite.

The first harbingers of spring could have begun weeks ago, with the sweet scents of potted jasmines or hyacinths filling the air.

Outdoors now, when the air is calm, fragrance might permeate every corner of your yard. In blustery weather, clouds of fragrance wander about, surprising you with their presence. Among the first aromas of the season is the spicy fragrance of clove currant flowers. Wild and cultivated plum blossoms follow these, their fragrance so strong that the trees announce their presence to your nose - even before your eyes. The fragrance of some plum blossoms is reminiscent of oriental incense.

The next wave of fragrance might come from Koreanspice viburnum, and then, perhaps, it's time to move back indoors to waft in the almost overpowering aroma of a potted gardenia. The plant is hard to grow, but the blossoms make it worth the effort.

Back outside then, perhaps to find a fragrant crabapple. Yes, some of them are fragrant - Dolgo, Bob White, and Brandywine, for example.

And so on, and so on, with the smells of spring.

One might settle for any flower being either fragrant or pretty, but the wonderful thing about these spring blossoms is that they are both. Clove currant flowers dangle from the branches like dainty yellow trumpets. Viburnum flowers cluster together in creamy white balls. Gardenia blossoms look like roses whose petals were made from sweet butter.

Most astounding of all, though, are the blossoms on those wild and cultivated plums. They clothe the branches like fat globs of snow, then drift down to carpet the ground with a thin, white icing. And look what the remains of those blossoms become on the plant - luscious fruits. Even those wild plums are tasty once you get past their puckery skins. Take note now of where those trees are so that you can easily find them in late summer, when you won't be able to rely on your nose.

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