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Showing posts from July, 2012

The Scented Garden - Philadelphus

In the last of my mini-series of posts on the Scented Garden in Summer I am focusing on Philadelphus (Mock Orange).  Out of all the plants that I have mentioned previously this is the most highly scented - you can practically smell it wherever you are in the garden, and it is a 'must-have' plant for the quintessential cottage garden.

They are named 'Mock Orange' in reference to their flowers, which in the wild species, look somewhat similar to those of oranges and lemons and smell of orange flowers and jasmine.  It is named after an ancient Greek king of Egypt -  Ptolemy II Philadelphus.

  The one in the Rosebank garden is about ten feet high and has arching branches full of flowers - it has been in flower for several weeks and smells divine.  After is has finished flowering I will prune it back to encourage it to flower next year
pruning out all of the stems that have flowered to about a third of their length and take out a few of the old stems right down to …

The Scented Garden - Honeysuckle

There are about 180 species of honeysuckle, 100 of which occur in China.  Many of the species produce a sweet edible nectar.  The breaking of the honeysuckle stem will release this powerful sweet odour.
Surely this is the best known of cottage garden climbers.  Well loved for its sweetly fragrant tubular flowers, this classic climbing honeysuckle is ideal for covering walls and fences, or romping through mature shrubs and trees.  Bees and butterflies love the nectar rich flowers, which are followed by round red berries that attract birds in late summer.

I have this one twining through the ivy on the front of the house - the common name for it is Woodbine but the genus Lonicera is named in honour of Adamus Lonicerus (or Adam Lonicer) who was a German Renaissance Botanist whose first important work on herbs, the Krauterbuck was published in 1557.

The blossom of the Wild Woodbine can be collected to make Honeysuckle Jelly (see recipe here)
 There was an old Music Hall song wri…

The Scented Garden - Sweet Peas and Old Fashioned Pinks

Who'd envy a sweet pea?  By rights they should reign over the choicest spot in the garden - looking and smelling as ravishing as they do - whereas more often than not you track them down to a row by the cabbage patch where they languish  in regimental splendour ready for cutting.  Though I think them lovely as cut flowers, my enthusiasm for sweet peas in the garden is boundless.  I grow them up everything - the climbing roses, the apple trees. (Felicity Bryan)

You can of course wait until spring to sow your seeds in situ.  But that way you won't see flowers until high summer.  If, however you get sowing the first two weeks in October then you will have large plants to bed out in spring and with luck have flowers by early June (Felicity Bryan)

This has been a good year for sweetpeas in our garden by the sea.  I picked my first bunch in early June, from plants sown in the greenhouse last October, and am still picking a couple of bunches a week from a mid-February sowing.…

The Scented Garden - Roses

The fragrance of the sweetest rose is beyond any other flower scent, it is irresistable, enthralling; you cannot leave it.  I have never doubted the rose has some compelling quality not shared by other flowers.  I do not know whether it comes from some inherent witchery of the plant, but it certainly exists. (Alice Morse Earl)

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met, All tenderly his messenger he chose; Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet - One perfect rose. (Dorothy Parker)

Elusive, mysterious, the fragrance of roses and the romance surrounding it, is legendary.  Cleopatra supposedly entertained Mark Anthony in a room filled with 18 inches of rose petals, and the sails of her ship were soaked with rose water so that 'the very winds were lovesick'.
Which is loveliest in a rose? Its coy beauty when it is budding, or its splendour when it blows? (George Barlow)
In general, the most highly scented roses are the ones that are either darker in colour, have more …