Tag Archives: Philadelphus

Scent in the Garden – July

Clockwise from top left -  Sweet pea; Buddleia; Jasminum officinalis; Jasminum beesianum

Clockwise from top left –
Sweet pea; Buddleia; Jasminum officinalis; Jasminum beesianum

The baton that June laid down, has been most definitely picked up by July, and is now off and running.

The July scented garden has all the usual suspects – roses, honeysuckles, sweet peas, lavender, pinks and Jasmine. The camera has gone into overtime and the volume of photos now, necessitates the use of montages, to display them all!

Some of our roses, missed the bus in June, and have now caught the next one.

Clockwise from top left -  Rosa eglanteria; Rosa gallica officinalis; Rose "Silver Anniversary"; Rosa "Albertine"

Clockwise from top left –
Rosa eglanteria; Rosa gallica officinalis; Rose “Silver Anniversary”; Rosa “Albertine”

But I still maintain, that Philadelphus most definitely give roses a run for their money when it comes to perfume. We have two – the giant, clumsy mock orange, rescued from a supermarket shelf, claiming to be “Virginal”, and the smaller, more delicate, “Sybille”. Of the two, “Sybille” has the better perfume, and its bubblegum scent carries all around the garden.

Top- Philadelphus "Sybille" Bottom - Philadelphus "Virginal"

Top- Philadelphus “Sybille”
Bottom – Philadelphus “Virginal”

For scent in the garden, nothing can beat lavender. It shouts the Mediterranean – even though L. angustifolia is English lavender! I love it! I grow it wherever I can, in pots, as well as in the borders. In common with other aromatic herbs, it gives us perfume all year round from its leaves – the flowers are a bonus! This lavender, “Hidcote” with its dark purple flowers, looks particularly good alongside the yellow froth of Alchemilla Mollis.

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Other aromatic herbs are adding to their appeal by starting to give us flowers, as well.

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Our Honeysuckle “Belgica” is still going great guns, and has been joined with a few pals ….

Top- Lonicera "Belgica" Bottom L. - Lonicera delavayii ; R. - Honeysuckle from next door

Top- Lonicera “Belgica”
Bottom L. – Lonicera delavayii ; R. – Honeysuckle from next door

My potted pinks are giving me particular pleasure on the patio.

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I do have a few other more unusual gems, though.

Top - Zenobia pulverulenta "Blue Skies" Bottom L. - Escallonia Iveyi; R. - Calycanthus floridus

Top – Zenobia pulverulenta “Blue Skies”
Bottom L. – Escallonia Iveyi; R. – Calycanthus floridus

More on those another time!

Now, I must show you an idea I “borrowed” from the local pub!

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They had pots of herbs and flowers in a small trough on a table in the garden. It got me thinking of a line of troughs along our outdoor dining table containing scented flowers, and herbs for picking and adding to food. What do you think? Add some jars for tea lights, a pot of “touchy-feely” chamomile and our recently acquired Kaffir lime, and that’s a lovely table centre piece.

July’s scent, though, has not been restricted to the garden.
Some of it found its way indoors.

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How’s your garden smelling?

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A Day of Delight and Devastation!

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What a delight today has been! Sun and high temperatures – a perfect day for the garden! A day with lots of little highlights which just scream out “Isn’t life in the garden wonderful”!

First we must get the devastation out of the way. It’s not as dramatic as it sounds – honest!

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The Philadelphus “Virginal” had been threatened with a drastic haircut. A bowl cut no less! Pruning by the book had resulted in vigorous new growth, which resulted in a plant that looked huge and gaunt, with strong, straight regrowth and huge leaves. So I decided to shorten all these long growths, in the hope of some branching lower down, with a more twiggy and pleasant, rounded appearance. Devastation, no less! But I think the results are more pleasing.
The Philadelphus was not alone. I apprehensively wielded the secateurs to our fruit cordons – not such a hacking venture. It did involve a lot of double checking with the manual, but I hope I’ve got it right. They certainly look more the thing!
So devastation is not really the right word. Nerve racking tasks that provide delight with a satisfactory outcome.

It was not all hard work. Among the watering and feeding, there was ample time to appreciate the many delights of the garden today.

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The Cottage garden has now reached its “teenage” phase, where it no longer wants to behave and just wants to sprawl about everywhere. Thank goodness for the late developers!

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I can’t rave enough about Hydrangea “Annabelle”. I’m so glad I added it to our Cottage border. It really packs a punch once the roses are past their best. I say “it”, I’ve repeated it another twice through the border. (I must confess, one is the very similar, Hydrangea “Bounty”.) Add to that the Leucanthemum, and the border takes on a distinctly white appearance, now, contrasting with the blues of the Aconites and Echinops. The rest keep ticking over.

But it’s not all over, yet! We have another bite of the cherry, with our Grass garden, just coming into its own now, extending the garden’s season of interest a bit longer.

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No soft pastels here! It’s all hot colours and textures. It moves from golds and blues, through plummy reds with silver, and onto hot chocolates, oranges and bright reds. All softened with grasses. It’s been ticking over up till now, when it’s heading towards its peak. Once the flowering is over, the grasses and seed heads will keep the interest going well into the autumn, and even winter.

Some little delights!

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Doesn’t the Echinops look wonderful against the lime-green of the hop covered fence?

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I love the way the light strikes this Hemerocallis!

The “Allotment” was also delivering delights.

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Apart from the handful of Japanese Wine berries I displayed earlier, the rest of the patch was filling me with great pleasure. All planted now, and produce, such as broad and French beans, cornichons, lettuce, and artichokes, not to mention my very first sweet pea flower, were all starting to burst forth. And the herbs I added a couple of weeks ago, were well settled in.

Wildlife were basking in it as well. Look closer at the globe thistles and you will see it’s not only me that enjoys them. The bees do too! (By the way, they smell gorgeous! That’s the flowers, not the bees!)

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I also spotted a dragonfly flitting by, and as soon as my back was turned, a robin pinched my seat! (Doubling as my kneeling stool – sadly much loved – and hereby, showing my age!) All too fleeting for my camera.

But I managed to catch one photo. (Annette asked for this, if I could!) One of our frogs, sheltering behind a fern.

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A happy day! 🙂

Roses are not the only scent.

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Our roses this year have put on a magnificent display. As you can imagine, the scent, walking through the garden has been intoxicating. Mind you, the roses haven’t had it all their own way.

There’s been a bit of a scent battle going on in the Cottage garden of late. The lawn has become a bit like a boxing ring! “On my right, we have …. THE ROSES!” “And on my left, we have…. PHILADELPHUS!” It all depends on the direction you’re ambling in, or the direction of the breeze, as to who wins that round!

Or, since it is Wimbledon fortnight, a bit like a Lawn tennis competition. “ROSES to serve ….. Fifteen love” “Game, Set and Match to ….”
(It’s also an excuse to show you some of our strawberries!)

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To put you in the picture, the Cottage garden centres around the lawn. On the right is our cottage border, with the roses and other lovely cottagey plants. On the left is the scented shrub border, home to (obviously) the majority of our scented shrubs, which has been planted with the aim of providing scent all year round – which, I’m pleased to say, it does pretty much achieve! Here is home to our Philadelphus – hence the battlefield!

So back to the battle of the scents, between our Roses and our Philadelphus. The alternative name of Mock Orange will give some idea of the serious competition between the two.

We have two different Philadelphus

Philadelphus "Sybille"

Philadelphus “Sybille”

“Sybille” is a lovely, delicate shrub, no more than 3-4 ft high, with single white flowers, which have a purple blotch at the centre. The scent is gorgeous – like bubblegum or tutti-frutti!

Philadelphus "Virginal"

Philadelphus “Virginal”

“Virginal” is a different beast altogether. A very vigorous grower, that, despite pruning as per the manual, seems to go berserk, reaching heights of 8-10 ft. It is ungainly as a shrub, and if it wasn’t for its showers of beautifully fragrant (a different scent to Sybille, by my nose!) pure white flowers, it wouldn’t be worth its keep. But for now, it’s easily forgiven. It just needs a firm hand!

And waiting in the wings, or front garden…

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I have to take you here to update you on what’s happening now. The focal point is the Eucalyptus, now starting to reveal its magnificent bark, as well as its aromatic leaves, though it does need a bit of heat to appreciate the latter. Under its canopy is a Phlomis fruticosa, which is coming back after a severe haircut. It has felted, silvery aromatic foliage, similar to sage, but the flowers, although not scented themselves, make a dramatic statement – whorls of yellow flowers arranged around the stem, that give way to sculptural seed heads.

But, as to the battle of the scents, who is your money on? Game, Set and Match to Rose? Or to Sybille? 😉