The bewitching fragrance of jasmine vines is a difficult-to-bottle scent. Capturing jasmine's essence is considered a superlative feat of aromatic alchemy, which is why jasmine is an ingredient in some of the world's most expensive perfumes.
May is a banner month for public garden plant sales. This year at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, curator Don Mahoney is growing the fragrant luculia shrub, for which, he says, “a local nursery had a waiting list 35 people long.” At the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, director of horticulture Dorthe Hviid has been dividing some of the garden's historic collection of daylilies, readying them for sale.
The Temple of Flora is perhaps the most famous florilegium or book of flowers from the golden age of botanical illustration. It's a charming collection of deliberately idiosyncratic flower portraits that became the portrait of a nation.