Evening Garden

Evening Garden – After the heat of the sun has gone,the garden seems to come alive with soft, sweet scents. It is a beautiful time of day to sit outside. If you have a paved eating area with chairs and a table, even if it is only a small  terrace, a few pots of strongly scented plants are a must.

In dappled shade, a combination of lilies and tobacco plants can perfume  the evening garden from early summer until mid fall and make eating by  lantern light the greatest of pleasures. Scented lilies are some of the most  beautiful flowers. Their great, waxy trumpets open from gracefully pointed buds  to pour forth waves of sweet, spicy perfume.It is impossible to judge which are  the most beautiful. Madonna lilies, the earliest to open, have one of the clearest,  sweetest fragrances, then come the regales and auratums, with scents reminiscent  of nutmeg and vanilla, and finally, in late summer and early fall, the  speciosums, distinguished by reflexed petals and a soft, toffee-like perfume.

Among tobacco plants, the white-flowered forms have the strongest  fragrance. They come into their own in the evening, when their flowers take on  a new life, exuding a fragrance resembling sweet nutmeg. The old- fashioned Nicotiana alata easily raises from seed, as it has a better scent than  most of the white bedders that you buy in trays. The taller, elegant, Nicotiana sylvestris flowers later in the summer and is also well scented.

Intoxicating perfume

An iron staircase  leading from the living room  and kitchen to the evening garden  terrace makes a perfect  platform for stepped ranks of  lilies, illuminated by lanterns  holding candles. The regale  lilies (Lilium regale), seen in high summer, are some of  the easiest lilies to grow.

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Nicotiana alata

Highly fragrant, they make  ideal subjects for an evening  garden as their white petals  with pink reverses show up in  the fading light. The lilies, ‘Pink Perfection’ and ‘Golden  Splendour’, add just a hint of  color to the group.

White flowers

Under a bower of vine leaves,  and against a backdrop of cool,  green ivy and camellia foliage, transluscent lilies ‘La  Reve’ and ‘Casa Blanca‘ and  white busy Lizzies (Impatiens  walleriana)  grow in large  terracotta pots. The heavily  scented lily flowers last for  several weeks. When a flower  fades, remove it to encourage  more buds to open.

Impatiens

Madonna lily

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