Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Plant of the Week: Mock Orange

I'm typically a flowery kind of gal, so naturally I lean towards showy annuals and Southern California perennials. Gathering plant lists, I would 'meh' past the Philadelphus lewisii. "It goes deciduous," I thought. "Can't be worth a couple of pretty flowers." Thankfully, the Canyon Creek trail in the Trinity Alps proved me so, so wrong. As the sun cooked the blooms throughout the day, the fragrance made angels sing! Oh, heavenly. I can't wait to find an excuse to use this plant!

Soil: well-drained
Sun: full sun to part shade in the Bay Area
Height: 3' to 8' tall
Plant: in the winter when it goes decidous
Buy it: Hmm, I can't find it among the usual suspects. Bay Natives claims to have a few (I've never purchased from them, just browsed their yummy online catalog!) and Yerba Buena seems to carry them as well. Annie's has some non-native hybrids which are quite tempting.
Good for: camping out next to it from May through July and inhaling its gorgeous scent. Use it as a screen or to "room off" a patio area from the rest of the garden.

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