Having an inquisitive 3-year-old daughter, my wife and I are asked a lot of questions. Recently, while we were outside, she asked, “Daddy, what’s that smell?” It didn’t take long to realize she was referring to the flowing cherry tree in full bloom in my neighbor’s yard. We discussed the fragrances of all the spring flowers and her questioning reminded me of all of the smells that change throughout the year. The smells that surround us and excite our emotions are more than just the smell of a few flowers.
Living in Indiana, we are truly lucky to experience the changing seasons throughout the year. Although we might get tired of raking leaves or shoveling snow, we can be sure our weather will soon change and a new season will be upon us. We often associate different scents with different times of the year.
With it being the springtime, there are many new aromas that awaken our senses, draw us out from our winter hibernation, and make us want to be outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. It is hard to miss the fragrance of all of the flowering blossoms including those of hyacinths, lily of the valleys, peony, lilacs, and viburnums. The smell of fresh-cut grass is a sign that spring is here because it’s a smell I haven’t smelled in several months.
As our summer goes on, we will be spending more time outside and will take note of our more fragrant plants like lavender, catmint, Biokovo Geranium, roses, Oriental lily, jasmine, angel’s trumpet, gardenia, hostas, butterfly bush, honeysuckle, garden phlox, roses, and many more. Not only do the smells come from the flowers, but many leaves of plants give off an aroma if touched. Having dogs, I often notice them smelling various herbs planted throughout my garden. More than just the smell of the plants in the garden comes the smell of outdoor living — neighbors out grilling, citronella candles, and the smell of an approaching rain shower. If you drive in the country on a warm summer evening, the smell of the cornfield or fresh cut hay can fill the air.
When the temperatures in the fall begin to drop, you start to notice a different smell in the air of the cool crisp days. The smell of burning wood from a campfire can fill the air and who can forget the smell of dried leaves as we endlessly rake and remove them from our yards.
As we enter into the winter months, we decorate with fresh-cut greenery that fills the air and sets the mood for the holiday season. We clean up the last of the fallen leaves and wait for the snows to come, ensuring again, another beautiful spring will be forthcoming.
I love the ever-changing seasons and environment around us and I enjoy being able to share the senses and the environment around us with my daughter.
Brian Wildeman is a landscape designer at Landscapes by Dallas Foster, Inc., 829 Canal St. He can be reached at 812-882-0719 and dallasfoster.com.