Sometimes, despite our vegetable crushes and flirtation with foliage, it all comes down to flowers. I don't care how enticing the tomato or crisp the lettuce, food will never enchant me like flowers do.
I have two favorite flowers in my garden at the moment, one I can't stop looking at, the other I go out and sniff about a dozen times a day. Have you ever gazed into the heart of a deep, dark moonflower? Ipomoea purpurea 'Grandpa Ott's is an annual vine with big, heart-shaped leaves. It'll grow 10-12 feet over the summer. The velvety purple flower appears lit up by its own luminous center. Imagine dozens of these beauties festooning a fence or clambering up an arbor or screen.
The fragrant enticement is a new-this-year double Oriental hybrid lily called 'Lodewijk'. Maybe because it's the first year in the ground, or because I grew it in a pot, it's shorter than the expected 3-4 feet, and blooming far later than July as anticipated. But it's absolutely as beautiful as advertised, and smells heavenly. From the fragrance, you'd think an especially fragrant gardenia was blooming on my deck.