I went up to the garden to weed at 6am. In my head, I was concentrating on my newest writing assignment, not my garden. An aroma assaulted me that was hard to identify. I took a quick look around. The Asiatic lilies (Lilium) were in full bloom!
Sometimes in an indoor flower arrangement, the scent of lilies is overpowering. People pull off the stamens, then they throw out the whole stems just so they can breath again. These 'Stargazers' belong in the garden, where the perfume is miraculous, wafting on every breeze, if only for about 18 days.When I first moved to my farmhouse in Orwigsburg PA, I bought Barbara Damrosch's delightful book, 'Theme Gardens', and planted a scented garden right under my living room window as she recommended. But I was still a novice, and didn't realize that the peonies and irises that I planted there bloomed in May and we didn't open our windows until June.* So I could enjoy the aroma only by going into the garden, not in my living room. One more trial-and-error lesson taught by the garden.
*Original windows built in the 1850's had no counterbalancing weights. I could open them only my hopping up on the wide windowsills and, lifting from the bottom, propping them up with painted sticks. They were opened when it grew warm and closed in the fall except during an intense rain.