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The Fragrant Garden

Years ago, I had a rose called ‘Jardins de Bagatelle’. It was the most deliciously-scented rose I can remember smelling. It declined over time, and I didn’t have patience to nurse it back to health. When my basement had a sewage leak, the guys from the city who helped with cleanup were going in and out the basement door and stepped on the last twig of my rose bush and sealed its fate.

I did not replace it, but every once in a while would go searching on the internet for ‘Jardins de Bagatelle’. I would never find any. It was weird. It was as if the variety had ceased to exist. A month ago, I discovered it at a place that specializes in growing roses from cuttings on their own roots. Usually tea roses are grafted onto a different variety’s roots to make them grow more vigorously. But roses growing on their own roots have some advantages: no chance of suckers, longer life expectancy, hardier plants.

I ordered two. They came about a week ago, but it’s been cold, so I’ve been afraid to plant them. Yesterday was so warm, I just had to get them planted. I’ve decided to put them in pots. That way I can control their growth conditions carefully, and I can move them around as they bloom and grow.

It's a pretty big pot - about 18 inches on a side.

It’s a pretty big pot – about 18 inches on a side.

The whole time I was outside, I was breathing in the sweet, sweet smell of the viburnum bush. It’s candy-like in its sweetness. Smelling these flowers is almost like eating. I could feel its restorative power the more I inhaled its fragrance. I will be stopping by this bush every time I go outside for as long as the flowers last.

The bush is positively covered with flower clusters.

The bush is positively covered with flower clusters.


  1. Lauren

    Dang it, Brad, the way you describe plants almost makes me want to be a gardener. Almost. Powerful words.

    When you talked about not finding that variety after the workers stepped on your twig I had a flash of ‘what if that was the last one?!?! So glad it didn’t turn out that way.

  2. Gretch

    Thanks for identifying the viburnum! There is one in my neighborhood that I smell when I run past but I am never exactly sure which plant it is. Now I know!

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