Photos by and written by: Nora Murphy For New England Fine Living
I like to keep it simple. Everything must be approachable. There’s no room at Connecticut Country House for fussy or complicated! My approach to gardening follows this philosophy. Details matter to me. The aesthetic matters as well. I’ll take that extra time to make a thoughtful choice in deciding on what flowers to plant and where. When I plant, it’s personal. I want it to be familiar or beautiful or scented, or any combination of the three!
In the spring, every week something is in bloom at Connecticut Country House - from daffodils to flowering branches of Mock Orange. And it’s especially the scented flowers that get the greatest amount of consideration as to their best location.
Above the main stone path to the house, the wafting fragrance of orange blossoms from the overgrown Mock Orange shrub is what first greets you.
Then as you reach the end of the path, it’s the vanilla scented Viburnum Calcephalum that takes over. I’ve planted two varieties of Viburnum there - Viburnum Carlcephalum and Viburnum Titus – fragrant and so pretty with their frothy snowball flowering branches.
This stone path leads to our East patio, where depending on the season, there’s something in bloom here. Rhododendrons, Hydrangea, Azalea, Mountain Laurel, and Forsythia reign in mass. But it’s the smaller plants, like the common white Lilac that I impatiently wait for each spring. It amazes me just how much one cut flower stem can fill a room with its sweetest scent!
Near the main entrance to the house, I’ve planted two of my favorite roses. These too, I selected not just for their beauty, but also for their scent – Rosa Rugosa (commonly grown at the beach) and Madame Hardy, a delicate Damask Rose. Both white in color, Rosa Rugosa’s tennis shoe white blooms keep blooming all summer, while the Madame Hardy’s creamier (and tinged with the softest blush) flowers offer one big show.
I love that the first impression of Connecticut Country House is not only visual in the spring, it’s also scentsational.