A couple of years ago, while I was on my way up to a meeting at Monticello, I was walking by one of my favorite blooming trees, the Mimosa Tree, and saw a woman lying on her back motionless with her eyes closed. It was one of those moments when your first thought is to worry about the person’s health, but you first voice your concern in an innocuous manner.
“It’s an amazing smell,” I announced as I passed to see if she would respond.
“Yes, I know,” she said without opening her eyes. “That’s why I’m here.”
I’ve worked at Monticello for a number of years and have learned when to seek out some of the best scents. Here’s my top five along with when and where to find them:
Fringe Tree, mid-April to early May, just a little to the west of the North Pavilion below the Winding Flower Walk (you can also find some in the Thomas Jefferson Parkway)
Flowering Tobacco, early evenings late May through the Fall at various locations along the Winding Flower Walk.