Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kim Smith and Fragrant Gardening

At the Wenham Museum with designer Kim Smith

One of the best parts of participating in a local design show is meeting other creative individuals who share the same interests. Last year at the North Shore Design Show I met Kim Smith, a super talented designer, author, illustrator and photographer who created a lovely space for Willowdale Estate (see it here) where she works her design magic from the bridal suite to the garden landscapes. While at the show, I really enjoyed talking with Kim about flowers and design (a couple of my favorite things ; ) so I asked Kim to share some of her gardening wisdom with my friends at the Village Garden Club of Lynnfield. She visited with us in September, presenting her tips on growing native plants – illustrated with many gorgeous slides – to our group of garden enthusiasts. While Kim did not participate in the Favorite Spaces design show this year (her daughter was graduating from college – congrats to you both!) she did host a slide show that highlighted the best flowers to plant when designing a fragrant garden.

Peonies I caught in bloom at a local cafe.

My favorite shrub rose smells heavenly this week.

Here are just some of Kim’s fragrant favorites
(although I think she loves most every flower!) ...

White Lilac
(Syringa vulgaris Krasavitsa Moskvy)
White Wisteria (W. sinensis v. alba ‘Jako’)
Old Garden Rose (Rosa Louise Odier)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleis davidii)
Nasturium (Tropaeolum majus)
Oyama Magnolia (M. sieboldii)
Moon Flower (Ipomoea alba)
Mock Orange (Philadelphus)
Peony (Paeonia lactifolia)

Her number one tip on choosing flowers with the most fragrance is to look for a white variety as scent is in direct proportion to pigmentation. The more showy, colorful flowers may attract your eye, but the subtle shades of white, cream, pale pinks, yellows and purples will release the most scent. And while you are at it, plant those scented species closest to where you are apt to enjoy them, near a window or along a traveled path. I am going to try my hand at Moon Flower this year. I love that it opens at night, just around the time that I will be out in my garden room, enjoying a glass of something cold and refreshing!

Vintage biennial phlox from my garden ...
they smell like cinnamon!

To receive Kim’s gardening tips via email, visit her website and sign up for her eColumn which is always chock full of great photos and information. Her blog is another great resource for gardening inspiration.

Kim Smith illustration from her book,
“Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!”

Colorful jewels from stella & dot

And for those of you who like to wear your love of flowers, I am hosting a stella & dot party online. One of my favorite items (besides the Sophia Pearl Bib Necklace that I am wearing in the photo with Kim above) is their Sasha Flower Brooch ...

These pin-on-flowers are all the rage right now, and are the perfect accessory to a summer top, bag or belt. There are so many pretty items in the stella & dot Look Book for Spring/Summer 2010. Take a peek at the latest trends and let me know what your favorite is ...

To purchase a stella & dot item, click on this link and add my name (Yvonne Blacker : ) as the hostess.

Have fun shopping ... and gardening!


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