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Talkback: The mock orange

I have two philadelphus and they are heavenly I agree. Can you help me with a problem? (Of course you can!) We had to remove a deceased and elderly virburnum from the corner of a wall near a seating area and within view of the sitting room. It helpfully obscured the view of the side wall of the house across the road. What shall I put in as a replacement? It's a sunny site; I'd like lots of interest in the different seasons or possibly an evergreen (if it's not boring!; the wall is about 6ft and the roots of the tree/shrub should not interfere with it. I loved cornus kousa which was in Roger Platt's (I hope I've got his name correct) garden at Chelsea but is it too lateral in habit? Should I go for a taller, thinner plant? An eventual height of about 12 ft would be great. Not much criteria there then!! Please help!
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  • when i was out walking my dog this evening,i walked past a house and they had this plant in there front garden,,it smells glorious and i wondered what it was called and 'hey presto' you have it here,,,,im of to garden centre tomorrow to buy the shrub....yippppeeedo.
  • I have Philiadelphus in my garden it is massif, too big really, in the winter just a mass of twigs, by June the leaves have arrived then comes the lovely perfumed flowers, planted them 35 years ago and didn't realise that I had to cut them down after they had flowered, I live in a very winy place and if you cut it back the new branches are ripped of by the wind, so I just give it a trim now and then.
  • you have convinced me.I shall have to get one.Maybe the smaller Belle Etoile,now where can I put it.....
  • I love my philadephus! It is in our front garden, so whenever we get home in summer and open the car doors, the scent welcomes us home. I've also watched people walk past and their faces brighten as they just catch a waft of it's glorious scent. Got some room in our back garden, lost a few plants in the harsh winter so might buy another one!
  • sorry I left the d out of windy, just want to say that I also purchased a philadephus for my daughter, a smaller variaty white flower with a tiny centre of purple really pretty and not so invasive, look for it in the garden centre.
  • In our previous garden I planted Virginal about 15 years ago and although it grew and flowered well, it had no scent. If I put my nose right into a flower and sniffed hard, there was a faint smell reminiscent of mothballs. I also had Belle Etoile which was wonderful, though prone to blackfly. In our neighbour's garden was a large philadelphus, 8 feet tall and at least 40 years old, which filled our house and garden with perfume in June. It always flowered earlier than Belle Etoile and had small flowers with narrow, slightly twisted petals. I've never seen anything like it in nurseries or garden centres. Any idea what it might be?
  • could anyone tell me why my evergreen honeysuckles [in large pots next to a sheltered trellis and regularly fed and watered] have lots of yellowing leaves which then fall off? My climbing rose which is a zepherine drouhin also does the same.
  • I forgot to ask, is the Virginal or the belle etiole philodelphus the best, I have plenty of room in the garden?
  • If you find a scentless philadelphus, don't be alarmed - it may Hoheria, the beautiful Ribbonwood from NZ. Some species are similar to philadelphus but have toothed leaves and little scent.
  • I planted a philadelphus last year. Must check the variety as my garden is small! It's just come into flower, and Oh! the perfume. I had a large variety in my last garden and always looked forward to June and the heady perfume.

    Thanks for the tip about trimming back after flowering. I didn't know I have to do that. Also, I want to keep it bush-like as the garden is small. Do I hack away in all directions or just trim back the flowering stems? some stems have no flowers this year. What do I do with these? Trim them or leave them?
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