Plant of the month:
Philadelphus virginal – Mock Orange a member of the Hydrangeaceae family can be seen on the Azalea Bank
This mock orange has the most wonderful fragrance, catch it on a warm still day and it takes your breath away.
Philadelphus virginal has pure white; double flowers and is a strong growing upright shrub to about 3m high. Most Philadelphus are deciduous and they come in all shapes and sizes.
P. ‘Manteau d’Hermine’ is a dwarf compact shrub with double wonderfully fragrant flowers, and can be seen by the steps to the Herbaceous Border.
P. coronarius ‘Aureus’ is a yellow leaved plant whose leaves gradually turn greenish as the summer wears on. Its flowers are still highly scented, and can be smelt on the Azalea Bank.
Philadelphus will grow on almost any soil, in full sun or part shade. Many of the best cultivars were raised in France in the early 20th century by the Lemoine family.
They can be pruned immediately after flowering, by thinning out and cutting back old flowering shoots to within a few centimetres of the old wood.