Friday, 27 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.


Philadelphus - Belle Etoile


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.


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 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
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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 ground - this will encourage the plant to send out new basal growth which will provide a good flowering branch framework - well worth the trouble if you love this plant as much as I do.

I know there are loads of scented plants that I haven't mentioned but the ones that I have are the most prominent in my garden - and certainly it wouldn't be the same for me without their beautiful fragrance.

28 comments:

  1. Hi Elaine. I have often seen the mock orange, thinking that I might like to add it to the garden, yet I haven't purchased one. They do well here. I like it as a cut flower in a pretty pitcher. Very nice.

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    1. You really should get one Ann they smell simply gorgeous.

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  2. Yes the "mock orange" is a must have in the cottage garden, I love the shrub especially for the scent, but I think you made beautiful arrangement in the white bowl.

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    1. I love it so much that I bought another one last year - but it is very small yet - the flowers have lasted a lot longer this year as the weather has been quite a lot cooler - now we are having a heat wave and the flowers are going over.

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  3. Hi Elaine, we had one at our old house but had to chop it down because it got too big for the space.It was so beautiful though such a shame.

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    1. I agree they are rather large but some good old pruning just about keeps mine in its place - love it.

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  4. Lovely plant, and it's one that even I can smell! Flighty xx

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    1. I bet you can - the fragrance is almost overbearing when you are working close to it.

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  5. HI Elaine. I have never been around a Mock Orange shrub before but it sounds wonderful. I would love to get a whiff of its fragrance. The flowers on it are just gorgeous. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. It is very heady - makes you almost dizzy - you must plant one Lona - have a good weekend yourself.

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  6. A smashing shrub, I think. I was pleased that there were two at the Priory though I'm having to reduce them as they are both too large. One of those plants that was in a childhood garden and so will stick with me always. D

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    1. It was one of the first shrubs I planted when we moved here so it must be 25 years old - and still flowering its socks off.

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  7. I grew one of these a few years ago. It made a lovely shrub with plenty of flowers, but then it began to get infested with blackfly. I kept it for a few more years, until it was dug up for workmen to repair a leaking pipe. I didn't replant it, as the blackfly infestation had got so bad by then.

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    1. Touch wood - mine has never suffered from any pests - I would be heartbroken if I had to get rid of it.

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  8. Just discovered your blog today Elaine. Great entry on Philadelphus. Not something I grow but I think it would be a valuable addition to the garden. I'm hopping aboard your blog.
    Paul

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Paul - just popped over to your blog - really enjoyed your entries - I too have become a follower.

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  9. Hi Elaine, I saw a Mock Orange at a summer clearance sale this summer for less than $10. I hesitated, and then decided not to buy it, because I had already quite a few "bargains" in my shopping cart. Now, after reading your post I am sorry. I love the look of the flowers and to read that they are so fragrant makes them even more appealing. Oh well! There is always next summer.

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    1. Oh dear - a missed opportunity - but as you say there is always next year.

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  10. I've seen one of these about the size of yours at the local arboretum. It's a bit too dry and hot here, so the plant wasn't blooming nearly as lushly as yours.

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    1. I think the cool wet spring has helped this year it really does look beautiful.

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  11. Hi Elaine, lovely pictures of the Mock Orange. I have plans to completely re-design my back garden next year, moving the greenhouse (down to the plot) and adding a large pergola across the back of the garden. I think at least 1 Mock Orange will be on the shopping list.

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    1. Goodness - you certainly give yourself some tasks - a complete re-design - (is there insanity in your family) ha ha!

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  12. I think I have the only mock orange in existence without significant fragrance! But I love it, a doouble white!

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    1. I have never seen a double - shame it doesn't have a scent though.

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  13. One of my Mother's faves, I love it too!

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    1. Your mother has good taste Bridget - they are gorgeous.

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  14. You've reminded me of a plant I've not had for ages - I must remedy this!

    (and lovely pictures, too)

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    1. It takes a while for them to reach the size that mine is but it is well worth the wait.

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