I’ve come around to a picky point of view, and that is, I favour spring bulbs with scented flowers. That might seem like a basic gardening no-brainer, but there are some flowers that are more about style and flash, and less about fragrance. For instance, I’ve yet to find any of the elaborately evolved parrot tulips with scent to match their increasingly strange mutations. Fortunately, there are plenty of perfumed spring blooms to select from, and some are more scented than others. Hyacinths will knock you over with their cloud of perfume (my husband won’t let them into the house), and even crocus give off a basic petal scent when strong sunlight hits them. I’m making a short list of extra-sweet-smelling spring flowers I can’t do without.
For scented tulips, I’m ordering three old favourites — ‘Prinses Irene’ (orange with purple flaming), ‘Couleur Cardinal’ (dark red with purple-blue flaming) and semi-double ‘Angelique’ (cream and blush pink). I’ll fill the spaces between with powder blue ‘Delft’ hyacinth. This is my year to replenish daffodils, so I’ll also order some of the 10-inch (25-cm) ‘Baby Boomer’ narcissus with chive-like foliage and masses of little yellow flowers. Add to that, ‘Golden Echo’ with white corolla and yellow trumpet and the white poet’s daffodil (Narcissus poeticus) with a vivid yellow and red eye. As well, a dozen of the big yellow ‘Dutchmaster’ can only make things better. These are all highly scented flowers, and I absolutely deserve this much joy!