"Walking down the garden path on a sultry afternoon in late July, I met a fragrance that took some time to trace. It was the mountain summersweet, Clethra acuminata, a delicate, elusive perfume that comes and goes with the breeze."
The summersweet to which Miss Lawrence refers is still in her garden, just beginning to reveal its first delicate fragrant blooms. I experienced the same wonder on a hot July afternoon as I walked down her garden path two years ago. The fragrance of the mountain summersweet is said to smell like heliotrope, but I agree with Miss Lawrence - it is more like vanilla. It's a scent I never tire of noticing.