Sunday, February 26, 2017

Love my Sweet Mock-orange


Thanks for all who chimed in on the picture I posted for "Think About It Thursday".  I hope you will think about putting this plant in your gardens...

I believe that this early bloomer is a Sweet Mock-orange Bush. It was already thriving here when we bought this property over 20 some years ago. I am not positive of the variety. It definitely is an older variety as the blossoms are single, delicate and breathtakingly fragrant.  So I am going with (Philadelphus coronarius).  However since this bush was first cultivated in1560, I am not putting a bet on this assumption. 
This variety is hardy in Zone 4-8. It is a very rapid grower . It can grow as much as 24” a year. Several years ago, after a very cold winter, I gave mine a  needed haircut. That has resulted in a more compact, more attractive bush and actually more blooms. 
This bush needs at least 4 hours of direct sun a day. So partial shade will do. It lives very happily in one of my “island gardens.”  This area shines in the spring as it has Forsythia and many different varieties of daffodils. In the summer this area host a wonderful Smoke Tree and a Japanese Red Maple that comes into its own under the shade of the Mock-orange. The daffodils are hidden under a wonderful living mulch of ferns. So little mulch is needed. Finally a very old Holly gives me shiny green leaves and bright red berries. My little “island garden” shines all year long. 

Some feel this shrub is boring except for the two weeks of blooms. But I love it for many good reasons. # 1 being my Mother had one in her garden and she was so happy to see one in my landscape.  Plus, according to Doug Tallamy, certain varieties of this shrub fit right into my mission to transition amy gardens over to more native plants. This shrub provides cover for wildlife, nest sites for birds, pollen and nectar for bees and butterflies and food for caterpillars. So what is not to love about Mock-Orange?




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