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Mysterious alyssum

14 years ago

My neighbor on the corner has an alyssum bed that smells heavanly whenever I walk by in the evenings. This bed seems to be perennial. I've lived there for years and the plants are always exactly the same and I don't see him bedding them out every year or replanting the garden. (I go by on a daily basis and I know my gardening, I would be able to tell). Me on the other hand, I can't get alyssum to even grow, let alone smell good and last. I buy mine at the nursery. For some odd reason I have never had luck with alyssum.

My question are - are the standard nursery varieties the ones that smell, or do you have to look for special alyssum stock to get fragrance? Any special colors? I know that only the purple nursery petunias smell worth a darn. Is there a perennial fragrant alyssum variety? Should I maybe try to grow these plants from seed, and if so, what is a good source for seeds of the old fashioned, truly fragrant varieties?

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