Sweet-smelling blooms in the garden! Our magnolia (Little Gem), gardenias, and Knock Out roses (Radicon) are all in full bloom and their fragrance can be enjoyed from almost any spot in the yard or porches. All three are inspirational plants (for us, anyway) - three years ago the magnolia was severely stunted by the neighborhood deer who really 'rubbed it the wrong way', two winters ago ice storms almost killed the gardenias, and this year the deer turned their attention to the Knock Out roses soon after they were planted. Thorns apparently are no deterrent . . . but, with regular applications of various deer repellents, including the fabulous 'I Must Garden' which is produced locally, they are now putting on quite a show. When bad things happen to good plants the plants can often make a comeback - especially with a little help from a friendly gardener.
If your garden does not include at least one fragrant summer plant, you're missing out on a great joy. Another plant to consider for late summer blooms is the tea olive (Osmanthus Fragrans). It can be grown as a shrub or tree and often blooms several times during the year. So take a few minutes out of your week to enjoy the blooms of summer - in your own garden or local park or farmer's market (where summer flowers are inexpensive and very cheery!).