What was that heady scent, I wondered, as I stepped out onto our back deck? And then I remembered: the Sarcococca confusa (also known as Sweetbox) I replanted at the base of our stairs. A gardener friend had encouraged me to plant it in a spot we’d walk by on a regular basis. She promised that just when I’d had enough of winter, I’d find my Sarcococca in bloom, and its intoxicating fragrance would whisper, “Spring is in the air.”
Most of the year, the Sarcococoa is not a noteworthy plant, except that it thrives in locations where other plants wither, namely shade. It is frequently overlooked which is many a garden’s loss, because how many plants are shade-loving, winter blooming and fragrant? I’m so glad I moved it. For the next few months, whenever I’m feeling those Seattle rainy day blues, all I have to do is open my back door and inhale! Spring is on its way.
Sweetly breathing , vernal air,
That with kind warmth doth repair
Winter’s ruins; from whose breast
All the gums and spice of the East
Borrow their perfumes; whose eye
Gilds the morn, and clears the sky.
~ Thomas Carew, 1595 – 1645
Take the road less traveled, Beth