Monday, April 7, 2014

When The Jasmine Fades

I just wanted to say a word about one of my favorite vines, pink jasmine (jasminum polanthum). It is such a sweet thing that is so easy to grow, nothing bothers it at all and it will ramble all over the place with little or no care. It blooms in the middle of winter when everything else is sadly dormant and is so very, very fragrant that it gives even the most discouraged gardener hope of an early spring in our mild climate. It does have one unpleasant characteristic though. It is not self cleaning and it is not easy to deadhead. Once the pretty little pink blooms turn to brown they hang on the vine way past their welcome and look very untidy while everything else is starting to look quite nice. Because the vine is so woven throughout the other plants it can become quite an eyesore.  The solution? My suggestion is to plant it at the base of shrubs and trees where it will grow up high looking for light. That way you will be able to enjoy the strong fragrance drifting down and even the cascading flowers in the winter while little else is blooming, but once the show is over and there are more interesting things to attract the eye closer to ground level, you won't even notice the brown swags that will hang on for a month or so until the new growth takes over and grows past the old blooms. Problem solved!

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