In Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play “Our Town,” heliotrope flowers connect two sets of characters who gather to inhale their intoxicating scent in the moonlight. Heliotropes, then common, are, indeed, wonderfully fragranced. Yet somehow, they’ve fallen out of favor in American gardens. Many onetime garden staples from the Victorian era through the 1950s have been replaced with hybrids and compact bedding plants, many of which lack the charm, aroma and simple nostalgia of their predecessors.
Here are eight vintage garden flowers worth revisiting: