Along the Garden Path

Sweet Scents of August and More Baby Birds

Harlequin Glory Bower (Clerodendrum trichotomum)

It’s the beginning of August, our North Garden is in full summer bloom and a large shrub on the southeast corner, Harlequin Glory Bower (Clerodendrum trichotcomum ), is clearly winning the popularity award. It has showy white flowers surrounded by red tepals and its intoxicating fragrance resembles jasmine and lilies, making it a  complete magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds.  It’s an absolute head-turner for visitors too!

Summersweet ( Clethra alnifolia) with bumble bee



Another shrub blooming now that has a subtler fragrance and appearance but still makes its presence known is the sweet pepperbush, or summersweet (Clethra alnifolia). This time of year its fragrance is a familiar woodland scent, often blooming in moist shade. It is also an important source of food for native pollinators such as bumblebees.  Blithewold has several specimens in shady areas from just outside the Rose Garden to the Rock Garden area. Both shrubs have fragrances that breeze through the landscape and go right to my head, triggering sentimental memories of summer garden days.

All the gardens are blooming with a beautiful combination of flowers but also play a large role attracting, feeding and sheltering wildlife.  Blithewold’s gardens can inspire in many ways but seeing gardens that are visually beautiful and also wildlife friendly sends an important message that gardens, big or small, are essential to preserving a healthy environment.

Fledgling waiting for food from mother bird

Garden staff and volunteers were treated to another baby-bird fledgling being fed by its mother, a reminder that it is all connected. Come walk along, inhale and see the gardens for yourself.





Featured Image: Close up flowers of Clerodendrum trichotomum