One such is the winter-flowering jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum.
I’ll be honest – I don’t ever remember planting it, since I have lived in only a few houses since I was married all those years ago, and I have found a plant of winter jasmine growing in every one of my gardens!
Mind you, I have welcomed its existence every autumn and winter since then, for it is one of the most reliable “doers” in any garden.
Its botanical name refers to the fact that it flowers on naked stems and the yellow flowers are carried at any time from November until February.
Only severe weather – when the stems are rimed with frost – will cause its blooms to be stopped in their tracks but once the cold snap has passed the plant recovers and the flowering continues.
Cut a few stems for a pot on your desk or table and enjoy it at close quarters over the next four months.
Only when it stops flowering will you need to worry about pruning and many folk stay their hand with the secateurs for many years.
Too many years – for the plant becomes mattress-like if left alone too long.
The trick is to cut out a few of the oldest flowered stems each year in March and to tie in new, healthy green ones.
This is a counsel of perfection, for a mature jasmine makes a welter of branches that are the very devil to get to the bottom of.
But take your courage in both hands (and your loppers, if the plant is very overgrown) and have a go at it.
It will make new growth during the following summer and quickly recover from its haircut.
A wall or fence of any aspect will suit this scrambler and horizontal wires or trellis will allow its stems to be tied in.
Propagation could not be easier – on an older plant you will probably find three or four youngsters growing at its base as a result of “tip layering”.
A shoot of jasmine has only to touch the soil to form roots and start up life.
If your plant has not done this, bury a few shoot tips and in a year of so you’ll have babies to spread about or give away.
So don’t spurn this plant just because it is ubiquitous. During this cold, grey season it provides its own burst of sunshine, whatever the soil or situation.
Don’t miss Alan’s gardening column today and Tip Of The Day every weekday in the Daily Express.
For more information on his range of gardening products visit alantitchmarsh.com.
Published at Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:01:00 +0000