|I live in Zone 5 Palatine IL and am looking for a quick growing fragrant tree or shrub that can be planted and give privacy to my patio. The soil is a very clay like consistancy, and of course needs to survive chicago witers. I was thinking of a lilac (reblooming, but one has already failed on me. Any suggestions?|
|There are a few winter hardy shrubs that you might consider growing. For best performance, I'd suggest amending the soil with compost or other organic matter just to help it drain well so the roots remain healthy. Healthy plants will tolerate the winter weather and come back strong each spring. Why not try planting Clove Currant
(Ribes odoratum), an upright shrub with arching branches, and fragrant clove-scented yellow flowers in spring followed by small berries. This shrub has good fall color. Or, Miss Kim Lilac (Syringa patula 'Miss Kim'). Although you've already tried a lavender, Miss Kim performs best in your gardening zone. Or, Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold Viburnum). A final suggestion is Calycanthus floridus (Carolina Allspice). All of these plants develop fragrant flowers and all are hardy to zone 4 so they should grow well in your zone, especially if you amend your soil prior to planting. Best wishes with your new shrubs!