After a long day of working for Comair at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Mike White comes home and waters his flowers. Unlike many suburbanites, however, he’s not watering a couple geraniums. Rather he spends an hour each evening watering hundreds of plumeria, brugmansia, bougainvillea, mandevilla, Serbian spruce, lacebark pine, dawn redwoods, bananas and bamboo.
At night, when the brugmansia are in bloom, White’s entire backyard is filled with a delicate scent. Brugmansia, also known as angel’s trumpets, give off no scent during the day. Native to South America, the flowers are pollinated by night moths. So once the sun sets, they become quite fragrant. “They give off the most terrific scents you’ve ever smelled,” White says. “You can smell them four to six feet away. They’re perfect for night entertaining.”

Tropical plants are White’s passion and, lately, his part-time profession. Looking at the potted plants dotted across his suburban backyard, White laughs. “This is a hobby out of control.”

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