Neighborhood Walks Yield Scented Treasures
August 18, 2009
by Debbie Hughes, Estates Horticulturist
Take a walk around the neighborhood and open your eyes and your nose. Many of our great wonders can’t be found while driving in a car. Get out of the house in the summertime – I find the cooler night time is the perfect time.
I walk around my neighborhood every night accompanied by my 6 pound dog, a silver-colored energetic Yorkshire terrier named “Roxy”. A dog is a great companion to make you exercise when you would rather be lazing around the house. While we were turning round the last corner before heading home on this dark humid evening, an intriguing smell wafted past my nose. What could this be? I looked around knowing Roxy couldn’t help (she was only interested in dog smells). I knew this had to be some night-time pollinator attractor flower. As I walked a few more steps, there shining in the evening moonlight was the luminescent blooms of the Angel Trumpet. It appeared to be the apricot/salmon colored variety.
The angel trumpet works so hard to get the attention of the moth, the pollinator of these heady flowers. Many flowers need more than a night-time glow; they need fragrance. Angel trumpets are classified as vespertine flower is one which opens and blooms in the evening. The Brugmansia genus, botanically speaking, blooms off and on throughout the warm months usually 4-6 weeks apart. The Estates has two large (6 foot) angel trumpets standing guard at the entrance to the Moonlight Garden. There is a foot long white flowered variety also in another area of the gardens.
The most certain way to enjoy all that nature has to offer is to get out of the house and capture real life adventures. The olfactory senses don’t work on the television. We often take cuttings from the Angel Trumpets and offer them up for sale at the Estates Garden Shoppe or at the Downtown Farmer’s Market. If you can’t grow these plants at home become a member at the Estates so you can regularly observe all the goodies growing.