I was wandering around a public garden in Washington DC today (upper northwest), late afternoon, and kept smelling something like a lily, but didn't see any lilies blooming. More precisely, it was a garden bordering a public school -- I bet the PTA installed it. The fragrance was subtle but definite. But I couldn't for the life of me see what was so fragrant. I looked pretty hard. Any guesses? There weren't a ton of perennials, and I didn't see any annuals. Could it be a tree or shrub with small blooms? It was so lovely -- not overpowering, just really pleasant; I'd love to have it in my yard...
Happy_macomb only plant that comes to mind that is small but packs a punch on scent is the Tea Olive (Osmanthus)...very tiny flowers that get lost in the green leaves. It's my husbands favorite plant (and he doesn't like plants!) LOL
Any chance it could have been star/confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)? Around here it's grown a lot as a groundcover so it's not always super obvious visually but you can smell it from a mile away.
I only wish. That also is not hardy here, so unless someone was growing it on their porch, I don't think that is what it was. Do you think I could overwinter that here? I really love plants that you can smell a mile away...
I just looked at Plant Files, and "On Jan 7, 2012, Floritucky from Benton, KY wrote: Although considered a zone 8 and higher plant by most authorities, it has performed well over through winters for us here in western Kentucky. I think zone 7a is a more appropriate zone label." I wonder if, with global warming, it might survive in my northern, not sunny zone 7a garden? Does it need a lot of water to thrive?
T. jasminoides doesn't need a lot of water--it needs some but I haven't found it to be especially thirsty. And I think there's a chance it could make it through your winters, it seems pretty tough and I'm pretty sure I've seen other people in zone 7 talk about growing it. You might also check out T. asiaticum--it smells similar, not sure if it's any hardier or not.
happy - the BEST place I have found to purchase (although I've still not found the trick to keeping them alive - might try one of the hardier ones and put it in the ground) is the following: http://www.nurcar.com/index.htm Shipping isn't the cheapest but then you receive the plant and understand why. VERY nice sized plants with great root systems!!! Here is DG's watchdog's page for them http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/3285/
add on - happy if the Sweet Olive is the only thing you're interested in, I'd be happy to go in on an order with you and split the shipping...let me know via dmail