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HomeFeaturesFood/RecipesHaddam Garden Club: May 2019 -- Fragrant Plants; Caesar Salad

Haddam Garden Club: May 2019 — Fragrant Plants; Caesar Salad

Submitted by Cindy Tillson, 5/5/19

I am just amazed  that nature can take a magnificent flower and make it even more appealing with scent.  The combinations can be breathtaking.  If you can, plant some of these fragrant beauties near your pathways, open windows, porch, in a container….where you can be sure to inhale their beauty as well as see it.

My favorite early season scented plants are Hyacinth, Lily of the Valley, Wallflowers, Sweet Peas and Lilacs.  ‘Korean Spice’ Viburnum is beautifully scented in spring too (and into summer).   Sweet Peas are annuals that need to be planted in April, and not all are scented.

Summer has many scented wonders too.  Some irises are scented.  My purple ones smell like grapes and my white ones have a vanilla aroma.   Then there are the peonies.  They are my absolute favorite flower.   They are purely gorgeous to have in the garden, but the fragrant ones are incredible.  I will only grow the perfumed ones.   Call me old fashioned, but when I think of roses, the signature scent comes to mind even before the beauty.  What a smell!

Later in the summer, Sweet Autumn Clematis saturates the air with its heavenly scent.  It has fluffy white flowers too.   Late summer brings lavender as well.  Ahhhhh…….lavender.

A number of annuals are fragrant as well.   Heliotrope aborescens “Fragrant Delight’ has a vanilla odor and comes in a gorgeous deep purple.  Stock  is fragrant and comes in a variety of colors.  Evening Stock opens in the evening for a pleasantly surprising boon to the senses.  Four O’Clocks have the same habit and an exquisite fragrance.  Dianthus has a clove scent and comes in lots of colors and textures.  Sweet alyssum has a nice honey scent.    Nicotiana has a lovely fragrance but it isn’t released until dusk.  It is worth waiting for.  The old-fashioned varieties are most scented.  Brugmansia has an intoxicating evening fragrance and a beautiful large trumpet flower.  It is poisonous though as are Four O’Clocks.  Jasmine, Stephanotis and Gardenia are a few fragrant tropical plants you can have outside in the summer but they will not survive the winter outdoors here in CT.

Not all varieties of the plants I have mentioned here are fragrant.  Sweet Peas, Peonies, irises, roses, viburnums and heliotrope also have unscented relatives.  I’m also sure there are fragrant ones that I have not mentioned!

So, Inhale deeply and enjoy!

The May meeting of the Haddam Garden Club will be held all over town as the Garden Club fairies put their magic on the gardens at the Town Hall, the Haddam Green, Brainerd Library (butterfly garden, too), the Transfer Station, the Higganum Green and the Entering Haddam signs.    Give a wave or even stop to offer your encouragement and praise.  Who doesn’t like to have their hard work appreciated?

Perhaps your romaine lettuce is ready …….

Recipe of the month from DIGGING IN, the Haddam Garden Club cookbook available for purchase at the library.


Submitted by Diane Clowes

Yield 4 servings                    Total time 20 minutes

½ baguette, sliced ¼” thick

4 TBSP olive oil, divided

Coarse salt and ground pepper

¼ cup  fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

2 TBSP grated Parmesan, plus more shaved with a vegetable peeler

2 TBSP mayonnaise

2 anchovy fillets

1 garlic clove

8 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, 4 yolks reserved), remaining eggs and whites cut into bite size pieces

Romaine lettuce, broken into bite sized pieces

Preheat the oven to 350.  Lay baguette slices on large rimmed baking sheet.  Brush bread on both sides with 2 TBSP oil;  season with salt and pepper.  Cut into ½” squares.  Bake until golden, 10-15 minutes, turning over halfway through.  Let cool on baking sheet.

In blender, combine lemon juice, Parmesan, mayonnaise anchovies, garlic, 4 reserved hard cooked egg yolks, and remaining 2 TBSP oil.  Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth.

In large bowl, gently toss together the  lettuce, croutons, dressing, shaved Parmesan and remaining whites and eggs.

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