Spring stirred to bloom

2010-09-11 00:00

THE longer days have stirred the garden plants and spring has sprung. Colour, fragrance and delight are all about. The delicious, sweet smell of the early blossom on the citrus is a joy not to miss.

On your shopping list make a note of this and very soon shop for a tree and find a good place in the garden for it. The choice includes, oran­ges, lemons, limes, mandarins, naartjies or kumquats and, if you can find one, a sweet-lemon.

These are all marmalade ingredients and also delicious preserves.

The generous frothy bunches of jasmine polyanthum always rush into spring. It’s lovely on fences, arches and trellises. Where there’s lots of garden space, just leave it to ramble and cover the ground; the sweet, strong perfume spreads through the house and garden. The indigenous jasmine multipartitum with little star-shaped flowers is lovely too and a gentler climber. These jasmines may be cut back to shape and discipline once the blossom is spent. The robust jasmine polyanthum may need cutting back quite often during the growing seasons and does not impede its spring blossom.

Where garden soil is acid, take advantage and plant camellias; if one uses the different varieties, the flowering time extends for up to four months. All the camellia flowers — small, medium and large — have very good shape and a wonderful array of colours. They have neat and clean evergreen foliage and this makes them a good choice for screening and for tall hedges.

Azalea bushes are also full of spring blossom and also have a preference for acid soil. Again, there are many varieties and so many bright and beautiful colours and shades.

The little annuals of primula malacoides in shades of pink, lilac and white have filled cool areas in the garden with drifts of gentle colour. Now, as they fill their hundreds of little seed capsules, let them dry a little and pull up some of the spent plants and toss them about in the cool shady areas and increase the primula parade for next year.

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