Today, at home: Lilacs blooming. Sweet shrub (Calycanthus floridus) starting to bloom.
Today, shopping: Went to Home Depot. Got white and red fully double begonias -- are those the tuberous-rooted ones? Got a couple of pink-flowered ones with bronzy leaves. Got four red geraniums. They had a lot of 'Knock Out' roses for sale, and a few other varieties on sale for half the price of the 'Knock Out' ones. I understand that the various sorts of 'Knock Out' roses are very remontant and disease-resistant, but they have no fragrance. So I went for the Hybrid Teas. I'm trying again with 'Mr. Lincoln', only this time with a grafted two-year-old plant, and I got 'Tiffany' for the first time -- it has a nice fragrance. I went on to the Home Depot website to look at their selection of roses. They don't list 'Tiffany'. They do list some roses from the second half of the last century which were quite popular ones, and, to my surprise, some Old Garden Roses. They have the gallica 'Belle de Crecy', the Portland Damask 'Comte de Chambord', and the Hybrid Perpetual 'Baronne de Rothschild'. The description of 'Baronne de Rothschild' says: "Many of us have in our gardens..." which stunned me. I knew Old Garden Roses were getting more trendy in the last twenty or thirty years, but to say that many people have a Hybrid Perpetual rose in their gardens? Hybrid Teas and Floribundas, yes, maybe even some shrub roses, but a Hybrid Perpetual? Go figure. Getting back into the twentieth century, they also offer 'Tropicana'. I didn't see any of the last four l've listed at the Home Depot nearest me, but I was trying to steer the cart with one hand while I held an umbrella up with the other hand, so I might have missed something.
The online catalogue has that the twin packs of the Knock Out roses are $21.95, as opposed to 'Pink Knock Out' -- presumably just one -- being $9.95. The Knock Out roses I saw didn't look like twin packs. I'm puzzled about this. They have the other roses listed at $10.95 -- I got 'Tiffany' and 'Mr. Lincoln' for $10.97. Reasonable enough for a rose with three good strong canes coming up from the graft -- I think that's a Grade 1 rose?
Next, I went to [local independent garden shop] which is much more expensive, but has a much wider selection of hardy and tender perennials, and shrubs. I got three "vintage" stock -- I had to try each color of them to see if it was scented, and ended up getting a double ivory variety, which as far as I could tell was the most fragrant. I got two purple heliotrope and two white ones -- I didn't manage to overwinter any heliotrope this year, so I'll just enjoy these until the first frost. I perused the herb section and got two pineapple mint and two very small rosemary -- rooted cuttings, I suppose, but much cheaper than the big pots. I got six caladium bulbs, three white and three pink. I got an Oriental lily assortment -- nine bulbs for $12.99, which isn't that bad for lilies. I decided that the varieties didn't matter as much as the likelihood of getting some scented ones. I need to plant them soon, though, as lilies don't really go dormant. I looked outside at their roses, which were $30 each. Made a mental note about getting roses cheaper from almost anywhere else, including the mail order sources I have for Old Garden Roses. They did have a few David Austin English roses -- nice varieties, too. But I think I'll still go with Heirloom Roses for getting David Austin roses. The one I got from there, 'Teasing Georgia', has survived two winters in a relatively small pot, and has some good green canes. I didn't think the English roses were that hardy, but apparently that one is. And it has a really nice scent.
So I've acquired or overwintered most of the fragrant plants I wanted. I was very pleased to find stock, as that's a favorite of mine. I've gotten heliotrope almost every year for many years. I planted four o'clock seeds, and I've got wallflowers blooming. There's some lemon balm in the herb garden, and some bee balm. I've got apple mint by the front door, and ginger mint in a pot with tiger lilies. I've got several kinds of pinks in various pots. The three tender perennials I'm still looking for are lemon verbena, lemon grass, and pineapple sage. At some point I want to try one of the hardier varieties of crinum, so that's on my wish list. But I've got a pretty good collection of fragrant plants -- just about everything I could find locally, and some I got through mail order.