Flowers & Herbs / Fruits / Garden of Eatin'

Smells of Spring

Smells of spring

Though the vernal equinox doesn’t occur for another week or so, it already feels like spring has sprung in my garden. While some people equate spring with snow melting, seed starting, and bare branches budding… for me, it’s all about the smells. Ohhh, the smells of spring.

This is the time of year when my garden is alive with the intoxicating scent of citrus blossoms and pink jasmine. It’s so extraordinary that I wish I could bottle up the fragrance for the rest of the year.

Orange tree buds
Orange blossoms in spring
Climbing pink jasmine
Fragrant jasmine flowers
Pink jasmine blossoms

The smells waft through the warm afternoon air when we leave our doors and windows open, and they linger in the damp and chilly nights after a passing rainstorm. They mix with the salty sea breezes that surround our house on the hilltop and that, right there, makes spring a magical season that ignites our olfactory senses.

A few times a week I make my rounds in the vegetable garden, pulling weeds and harvesting food, and I always find myself standing under the sweet-smelling canopy of our Valencia orange tree. I breathe in the orange blossoms, roll up the bottom of my shirt and fill it with a half-dozen fruits. The perfume idles on my skin and hair for the rest of the day.

Related: 13 Cozy Scents That Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas

Valencia oranges and orange flowers
Close-up of Valencia orange flower

We’ve had a wave of warm weather this past month which means I should’ve started my seeds in February, but admittedly, I’m behind on my spring garden. I’ve been “nesting” (a term I put in quotes because I’d much rather be playing outside than cleaning the house in my final month of pregnancy) and striving to finish a few writing assignments before the baby comes. That leaves little time to start the few dozen varieties of plants I typically do, and it’s making me feel wistful.

After sitting in the garden for a good long while yesterday, taking in all those citrus and jasmine smells while watching (or as he would call it, supervising/bossing) my husband as he trimmed the trees, I felt inspired to pull out all my seeds and map out all my raised beds. It was just the antidote I needed for all the time I’ve been spending inside the house.

Come next month, I hope to have lots of little seedlings ready to go in the ground! (And a new little helper as well… though she’ll likely be sleeping on the job.)

What are you most excited for this spring?

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

1 Comment

  • Caitlin | Our Natural Heritage
    March 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I am also so envious of those delicious citrus and jasmine smells you Californian’s can experience – but your beautiful photos and descriptions are the next best thing 🙂 Good luck with you labor, can’t wait to “meet” baby Sprout!


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