Saturday, July 30, 2011


Jasmine has been a very popular plant for us. Every source I've read says it is not hardy here in zone 6. Ours has survived outside on the pergola for at least seven years. It's a vigorous vine that needs a support to climb. The rounded white flowers bloom in early summer and are deliciously fragrant. It's a sweet fragrant scent, but not cloyingly sweet. Many people talk about their fondness for the scent.

As sometimes happens, we lost our supplier for the small jasmine starter plants we got and potted up. So last year I decided to propagate some on my own. I thought cuttings would be easy. Usually, it's easy to root cuttings from a vigorous plant like jasmine. I did get a few to root, but the majority did not and the ones that did root took a long time. Last fall I decided to try layering. That involves taking a long stem, pinning it down into the soil and allowing roots to develop where it touches the soil. All you need for layering is stems long enough and flexible enough to pin - and patience. This was much more productive. All the stems rooted and several could be divided since they developed roots in several spots. So I potted the up in larger gallon sized pots with a trellis to start them climbing. They're available for sale now and if any are left, I'll hold them over for next year.

The plant sale continues and we have some good bargains, so if you still need something, stop by.

What looks good in the garden:

Verbena bonariensis or upright verbena - tall, but on thin, wiry stems and topped with a flat, purple flower. It reseeds reliably every year.

Blackberry lily - each orange flower lasts one day, but there are lots of them. They'll be ornamental through the fall as the blackberry-like seed pods develop.

Foliage plants like variegated sage and santolinas look good throughout the season and complement many flower colors.

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