Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' in flower

Since I first wrote about this choice little shrub last August, I have been on a learning curve.

At the time of the last post, I knew I had to pot the plant on, as it had changed from looking the picture of health to looking a little neglected. The new pot was slightly larger than what it had already been in, and I used the ericaceous John Innes mix. I put it back into the greenhouse from where it had been happily sitting all Summer.

So, all good, or so I thought.

Slowly, over the following couple of months, this evergreen proceeded to shed all of its leaves! This was not a good sign, and to be honest, I was thinking at this rate the plant will be dead by Christmas. Not the first plant to die on me of course, but just a little more of a sting with this one.

Ah well.

Interestingly enough, just when I thought all was lost, there did appear to be some potential. Leaf buds appeared and then sat there over Winter. In February, pink flower buds appeared, which have started to bloom over the past week.

Now pictures are always useful, and paint a thousand words, etc. but to capture the fragrance on a blog like this is almost impossible - and pictures certainly don't do the job. The simplest way to describe it is as a sweet, strong perfume, which you will smell from a good 10 to 15 feet away. Beautiful. A 'must have' for every garden (or at least for mine).

What's next? Well for this plant and I, it is a wait and see. I had great expectations when I got it last Summer, no expectations as it shed its leaves last Autumn, a little expectation when buds appeared over Winter and a sense of awe when smelling the flowers for the first time the other day.

Happy gardening.