Fragrance and Bonsai

A garden with fragrance is what I am aiming for. Next year, I hope to have next-door neighbors coming out of their houses to smell the sweet fragrance of flowers in my garden. Incidentally, I planted some sweet alyssum seeds sent by my niece in the US a couple of months ago and here are the plants:


Sweet alyssum

They have grown to about a foot in height yet I don’t see any sign of fragrance. Somebody please tell me – are these really fragrant flowers or am I missing something?

I hope to have at least 3 to 4 rose plants in bloom next year. The cuttings that I planted have been successful this year.


Rose plants from cuttings – fragrance next year

Incidentally, I suggest you take a look at the delightful roses in Steve’s blog too.  I’m hoping my roses next year will at least measure up to them.

Of the five different varieties of hostas I’m growing in my garden, I found one to have a sweet fragrance.


Fragrant white hosta

When the flowering season is over, I’ll propagate some of these by root division and plant some at other locations in my garden.

I bought two plumeria plants last week – visited a plumeria grower in my city and had an informative discussion on growing plumerias in this environment. I grew up in India with several of these trees with fragrant flowers (in Mumbai) and am trying to recreate those memories! Of course, I need to bring these inside the house in winter – I hear that the plumerias go dormant, but start sprouting leaves again in spring.

plumerias  Plumerias – left: possibly pink or dark color; right: white with gold at center

The slightly rounded leaves of the Plumeria, it seems, indicate white flowers with gold or yellow at the center.

To add to fragrance next year, I have planted some ginger plants too, thanks to my friend, Utiyama-san, who offered me four of these plants after root division from his garden.



Plants propagated from cuttings of Gardenia and Daphne odora will add to the fragrance.




I started off with my first Bonsai creation this week. I think I did everything right according to the book; but when it came to selecting the plant, I experimented. I used a Myrtle plant that I had propagated from a cutting. Here it is:


Bonsai – the plant I used was a myrtle

I used a 2:1 fine grade akadama: kanumatsuchi soil mix, and inserted two small masses of slow acting fertilizer (oil cake or abura kasu), tamped down the soil and then laid moss, and hooked the plant firmly to the base using two wires of 1.5 mm diameter. I hope to see the flowers soon and taller growth so that I can shape the branches to my liking.


Now here are some veggies I harvested recently:

veggies-1 veggies-2
Basil mulukhiya

Clockwise from top – typical day’s harvest; add carrots and basil to typical day’s harvest; basil (great for spaghetti), and mulukhiya (wonderful for soup) Note that the dates are way off – I need to change the camera settings!

The first of my Japanese anemones has bloomed rather earlier than usual:


Here are some other flowers in bloom in my little garden:


petunias abutilon


Until the next post, here’s wishing readers Happy Gardening!


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12 Responses to “Fragrance and Bonsai”

  1. August 8, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I will be very interested in your progress with the Bonsai plant. It looks like you got ambitious! Smells are such a fine way to surround oneself – yet another sense to take advantage of by good gardening!

    • August 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm

      Yes, Steve, this bonsai is an exciting project for me. I have started looking closely at bonsai plants grown by locals in my neighborhood. Some of them are magnificent specimens and probably decades old. Better late than never! And yes, being a rank beginner to roses, I think it will take quite some years before my roses come anywhere near the ones you posted in your blog – but its nice to have dreams and aim to fulfill them 🙂

  2. 3 sequoiagardens
    August 8, 2009 at 10:28 am

    An elegant blog – and what sounds like an interesting lifestyle and gardening approach in a situation so romantically different from my own. I love your cuttings and seedlings – a true gardener at work!

    • August 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks so much for your nice comments, Jack. To me, using the cuttings and seedlings in Bonsai would be another step forward in self-sufficiency. I aim to pick up those “matsu” seeds lying around in parks in autumn and plant them to make my own bonsai plants in the near future.

  3. 5 KevinK
    August 8, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I didn’t know that plumeria is the formal name for Frangipani, which I also have lots of fond memories of from my childhood in Sydney. Also saw some in south India that were massive and old compared to the ones I was used to. You’ll need big pots to keep them inside during winter though, won’t you?

    • August 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm

      Yes, they grow up to be massive trees. However, due to the cold winters here, I’ll probably be growing them in large pots or may bury the pots into the ground in the warmer months and taken them inside the house during winter. It appears that the plumerias grow dormant in winter and shed all their leaves, but start growing fresh leaves from spring onward. I should expect some flowers from next year onward.

  4. August 14, 2009 at 5:53 am

    It’s amazing how many different things you are growing in your garden at the same time. Beautiful flowers, vegetables, herbs like ginger, and now even bonsai! Your baby bonsai looks very nice. Good work! I am looking forward to hear more of it from you! Cheers! 🙂

    • August 19, 2009 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Sandy, I was going through my WordPress account and found this message under Spam. I don’t know why WordPress didn’t like you 🙂 Anyway, I have approved you as author so any posts in future from you will appear straightaway. Thanks for your kind comment.

  5. September 15, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your info. And this is **Plumeria Flowers Care** blog. It pretty much covers dog training related stuff.

  6. October 12, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I do not think that the plant that you have growing is Sweet Alyssum. It looks a lot like a weed that grows in my garden (no ID, sorry). Sweet Alyssum has tons of white or purple flowers on it that are very fragrant.

    • October 12, 2009 at 11:38 am

      You are obviously right. Sweet Alyssum seeds was sent to me in a can from the US along with seeds of some harmless weed. I guess the Sweet Alyssum seeds never grew, and only the weeds did! Thanks for confirming this point.

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