Category Archives: The Scented Path

What a Perfumed Paradise !

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It’s been a while since I blogged, and it’s well overdue for a catch up.

No major changes have happened recently in the garden. It’s now becoming well established, with maintenance and tweaking the order of the day. Humdrum stuff really!

But at the height of summer, with everything blooming and smelling divine, I just had to share!

I love hydrangea “Annabelle ” at this time of year, just as the flower heads change from lime green to pure white.

And, as always, when June moves into July, we have the battle for perfume champion.

It’s always the roses…

…. versus the philadelphus.

Mind you, there are other contenders, too.

Jasmine….

….and our “borrowed” honeysuckle!

I’m afraid the jury’s still out!

Chloris http://thebloominggarden.wordpress.com/ has been asking which new scented plants, I’ve purchased in the meantime. Not so many, I’m afraid! I’m having to be more disciplined as space is becoming limited. I’ve bought Cistus purpurea to add to the Cottage border, to replace a failing rose, (which has now sprung back into life in a pot – typical!) and a Calycanthus “Venus” for the same reason! (But that’s for another time!)

Of course, there’s also the impulse buy from Malvern show, Rhaphiolepsis umbellata, which is still languishing in its pot, while I ponder where to put it. Must get this one right first time – it won’t tolerate being moved.

And my most recent purchase is – surprise, surprise – not scented! It was bought at the local carnival this weekend and was not an impulse buy. It was one that was premeditated for adding to my collection of blue glazed foliage pots, a dark leaved Phormium, to set off the other surrounding dark planting. (Sadly, with no label!)

I’ve also experimented with seasonal pots, using night scented phlox (easier than Zaluzianskya ovata!) as the main ingredient, which I’ve grown from seed. This is the first time in many years I’ve dabbled in this aspect of the garden. I’ve planted up two large pots and used them alongside complementary summer bedding.

The first is a large, metallic planter where I’ve picked up on the white flowers of the phlox backed with purple, and paired it with a scented Petunia (of course!), one whose perfume takes me back to summer holidays.

The other is in a brown and white glazed pot, where I chose a white begonia with the darkest, chocolate brown leaves I could find, to plant with the phlox, to match the planter.

The rest of the phlox plants I grew have been planted in a couple of containers on their own. As yet, the phlox is yet to flower, though it’s not far off. You can just see them starting to open in the brown pot.

Elsewhere in the garden, the Grass garden was really in need of an overhaul, due to some plants, including, I’m afraid to say, weeds, taking over. It’s now settling in and performing well.

So that’s a round up of our main developments!

And it’s good to be getting back into the swing again! So will see you again soon!

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The Beautiful Calm

There’s something strangely beautiful about this time of year.

I love the calm that follows the hustle and bustle of the festive season. There’s something nice about ” getting back to normal” and that’s finding the time again for other things.

Now I must admit that our stove is more appealing just now than the great outdoors, with this spell of cold, damp, dreary weather, but it’s well worth making the effort. After all the Christmas tree had to be disposed of.

Five minutes with the secateurs reduced the tree to the trunk and the base. Final result is another log to edge my woodland bed and a bit more firewood for aforementioned stove. ( The branches were recycled courtesy of our green recycling bin.)

So now with that job ticked off my “getting back to normal” to-do list, I had my stroll down the long garden path!

It was all looking decidedly damp and disheveled. The winter weather has taken its toll – flattened grasses and a worryingly, sorry-looking Helwingia shrub, which had been doing so well.

But looking past these set backs, all the wonderful signs of regrowth are starting to appear.

The first crocus shoots poking through….

….and the rhubarb (Oops! I need to weed!)…

And of course, the snowdrops nestling alongside an unfurling hellebore – “Anna’s Red” – under the coloured dogwood stems.

And with all the delight of the gorgeous fragrances wafting out from the Lonicera fragrantissima and Chimonanthus praecox (among several others) shown at the top, it was, in all, a most rewarding stroll.

That’s the strange beauty of this time of year.

It’s hard to hibernate when the garden is waking up! 😀

I Went to Ashwood and….

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….bought another scented shrub!

I’ve almost finished housing my poor, little homeless treasures, and you may well be thinking “Here she goes again!”

But this was no impulse buy! Cytisus battandieri (now renamed Argyrocytisus battandieri) has been on my wish list for ages  – nay, years – ever since reading that its flowers smelt of pineapple. Hence its popular name of Pineapple (or Moroccan) broom. I even have a container ready, and have earmarked a suitable spot – how disciplined and restrained is that?!

It’s a truly beautiful shrub! Apart from its scented flowers, it has lovely trifoliate, glaucous leaves, that have a delicate, downy coating. So not only does it please the senses with its beautiful looks and perfume, the leaves and flower buds are so very tactile – like stroking silk!

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It likes a sunny, sheltered position, in a dry soil,  so should do well against our west facing brick wall, especially now that there is more light in the garden, since the loss of the overhanging ash tree. It is often grown trained against a wall, due to its lax habit. Indeed, the best example of this lovely plant that I’ve seen in the flesh, is grown against a brick wall in my brother’s new garden. What a specimen!  I hope mine will like its blue glazed pot and do well.

And now, less than one week on, it has started flowering, and looking and smelling gorgeous! Yes, it really does smell of pineapple!

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How’s that for an “impulse” buy?! Truly worthy of its place next to our bench!

Scent in the Garden – On A Warm, Sunny Day

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At last! Tuesday brought some warm sunshine! And time to enjoy it and make good use of it!

As you know, I have been threatening some far reaching changes for some time now. Last week, the 25 year old ash tree, was finally felled, leaving a stump – and a mushroom! Along with that, the garden reshuffle has moved on from the “thinking about it” phase, to the “getting on with it” phase. So the warm, sunshine made for a perfect day to make some progress.

It wasn’t just the sunshine that made the hard slog such a pleasant experience, but also the adjacent Viburnum carlesii “Aurora” pumping out its perfume. The beautiful pink domes of flowers are quite plentiful this year, and so the scent of pinks kept wafting my way.

And while trudging up and down the garden, passing the Osmanthus delavayii rewarded me with another perfumed delight – this time more heady, like jasmine. The tiny, pure white trumpets, en masse, create a stunning effect against the dark green leaves.

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So I was distracted, and found myself, armed with my iPad, on a perfume hunt round the garden.

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Clematis armandii, which had opened its first buds shortly after we returned after New Year, has now reached its peak and is starting to go over. Its new shoots are waving around, threateningly, daring me to tie them in. Their soft perfume can be detected quite unexpectedly.

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Of course, true to form, the Coronilla in the front garden, was still blooming away happily. Such a pretty sight, with the lemon flowers set against its glaucous leaves.

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Here’s one I moved earlier! Elaeagnus umbellata was a victim of my reshuffle, moving from its cramped position snuggled up against a Philadelphus in the Scented Shrub border. Here, its delicate form will mingle with the perennials in what was originally the Medicinal herb bed, and its silvery leaves should provide a lovely backdrop to the bright pink blooms of Rosa gallica oficinallis (the “Apothecary’s rose”). Its tiny, powerfully scented flowers can still be spotted in the photo. And smelt in the garden!

So, as you can imagine, I didn’t achieve as much as I’d set out to do, but who cares! That’s what’s important about gardening – taking time to enjoy it, as well as to do it!

My Poor Little Homeless Babies!

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Poor little things! It’s not as if they’re unloved – far from it! Just one look, and I had to have them. And that’s the problem. The family is growing and must have a home.

Let me introduce you!
From left to right;

Escallonia “Iveyi”, Salvia “Senation Deep Rose”, Drimys lanceolata, Caryopteris clandonensis “Dark Knight”, Helwingia chinensis, Cestrum parqui, Pittosporum tobira, with a tiny hellebore seedling at the front.

Things appear uneventful on The Long Garden Path over recent weeks, with not much to report or write about, other than broken fence panels, which is of little interest to anyone. Activity levels outside have been far too low, with either the wind or incessant rain beating me, sending me scurrying indoors to the welcome warmth.

There have been some pleasures on the “walks round the estate”.

Winter scent, in the form of Clematis armandii ” Apple Blossom”

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and various Sarcococcas,

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and the early spring beauty in the Woodland.

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But the little grey cells have not hibernated. Indeed, they are working well, if nothing else is. They have long been pondering the problem. And so, now, there is an overhaul in the pipeline.
I think I’ve already mentioned tweeking the cottage border and adding in or moving, scented shrubs, which, hopefully will do better in a sunnier border. And now the “walks” have clarified where each will live.

Of course, this mental exercise has had a knock on effect, which will impinge on both the existing shrub border, and the Woodland. Will I ever resist moving my poor plants about and let them be?

The little grey cells have also pondered the Allotment, and improvements that can be made there. They have persuaded us to add two new raised beds – one for veg. and another one for more strawberries. You can never have too many strawberries!

So I have been shopping. A start has been made. Seeds have been bought and started off, and compost and soil improver stocked up on. Now all we need is some dry and, hopefully, warmer weather, to leap into action! (Or at least creep!)

Oh, but before I get carried away with excitement, I just have to go back to the aforementioned fence panels. None of this can sensibly be done till they are repaired!

Such is a gardener’s life!