Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

For information about listening to Vermont Public Radio, please go here.

Vermont Garden Journal: Fragrant Annuals

Everlasting Sweet Pea, Lathyrus Sylvestris

Although my wife Wendy and I have plenty of room to grow flowers in the yard, we always plant some in containers as well, especially the fragrant ones. Planting fragrant annuals in a pot on a deck, patio or near an open window is an easy way to indulge in the sweet smells of summer. Here are three of my favorites.

Heliotrope is a borage family flower that is also called the cherry pie plant. Who could resist that description. I think the fragrance is more like vanilla, but either way the 1 to 2 foot tall plant with white, blue or purple colored flowers yields its sweet fragrance all summer. The plant is heat and drought tolerant and has few pests. However, it is poisonous to animals and children, if ingested.

I love 4-o'clocks not just for their ability to tell time, but also for the shrub-like plant that's adorned with multiple colored, fragrant flowers. Thomas Jefferson called them the Marvel of Peru, even though they originally hail from Mexico. The flowers open in late afternoon and stay open until morning. On cloudy days they may be open all day. The flowers also attract luna moths and hummingbirds. 4-o clocks love to self sow, so watch for seedlings next spring.

Sweet peas are well-known fragrant annuals that love to climb. But for containers, there are some great dwarf varieties as well. 'Color Palette Cupid' only grows 8 to 10 inches tall in a bush form with fragrant, colorful flowers. Although they should have been planted already because they love to grow in cool weather, try planting bush sweet peas now in a spot protected from the afternoon sun where it won't get too hot and keep them well watered.

And now for this week's tip, look for clusters of orange eggs of Colorado potato beetle on the underside of potato, eggplant, ground cherry and tomatillo leaves. Crush the eggs to reduce the damage from this beetle.

Next week on the Vermont Garden Journal, I'll be talking about protecting crops from birds. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.

Broadcast on Friday, June 20, 2014 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 9:35 a.m.

The Vermont Garden Journal with Charlie Nardozzi is made possible by Gardener's Supply, offering environmental solutions for gardens and landscapes. In Burlington, Williston and

All About Sweet Peas
Growing Heliotrope
4 O'clocks

Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.
Latest Stories