I wonder about a grouping of sweetbox (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis, below), planted in the curve of a stream constructed years ago. Yes, it’s a nice enough evergreen, and certainly it’s filled in nicely. Perhaps there is nothing that would do better filling this space, but it seems somewhat nonsensical to plant a shrub with the primary attribute being its fragrance, when I can hardly smell a thing. Anything, well occasionally I can smell witch hazels flowering in winter, on a still, sunny day, and the same goes for some of the daphnes if I get my nose very close. But, anything else, nothing.
Despite my inability to enjoy the fragrance, the sweetbox is staying put. It was slow getting started, and no matter that now it sends roots that sprout stems between stones in the neighboring path. I waited patiently, a rarity in these parts, and now I treasure the dense clump, even if I can’t smell it.
I gave up thinking long ago that there needs to be a good reason for every plant in the garden. Yes, others should have a well considered purpose for each plant, but why me? Even as it becomes more crowded, I routinely add plants on the slightest whim, in particular ones that stay small enough to be crammed into just about any space. I have to give a bit more consideration to adding a tree, or a shrub of any size, but often these obstacles can be worked around. I suppose there is something at least a bit askew about this, but it’s hardly a problem to my thinking. (My wife’s opinion on this matter does not count.)
Of course, I’ve cautioned my wife that there are plenty of purchases on the way. I don’t remember exactly what, and no locations have been determined for anything, but that will be figured out quickly as they’re delivered, or as my little car is jam packed returning from the garden center. Certainly, there’s half a plan when a purchase is made. I am almost certain there’s a place for most everything.