Monday, May 17, 2010

Philadelphus incanus is flowering this week in China Valley

It has a wonderful fragrance and though it doesn't stay in bloom for a long time, it sure is a great pleasure for a week or two. With more people gardening in smaller and smaller areas, Mockorange is just one of the larger, coarser, single-season shrubs that have gone out of style. P. incanus is a species, one of more than 50 in the genus; most of the Mockoranges that were so common 50-100 years ago were crosses or selections of other species. Still this has the typical appearance and aroma.

When lots were an acre and shrubs ran the periphery in back, these big guys, along with Lilacs, Weigelas, Forsythias, Deutzias, Quinces, the larger Spireas, and a handful of others were mainstays of the shrub border. There were dozens of cultivars, or more, of most of these plants.  It's understandable why we don't grow them so much anymore but it's also nice to be able to still see them in Public Gardens.

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