Let’s mask the harsh 2020 smell of bleach and alcohol with the sweet and innocent scent of pretty jasmines flowering well into summer.

Jasminum polyanthum (Chinese jasmine)

This evergreen, vigorous climber is perfect to use near windows or braai areas so that its spring perfume can be enjoyed by all. It grows best in sun or light shade and loves well-drained, compost-enriched soil. Water needs are average when established. Chinese jasmine flowers from late winter and into spring, with many heads of sweetly scented flowers. Its pink buds open into small, white, star-like flowers that are edible. As it is a strong-growing climber you will need to support it with a trellis or allow it to ramble over other shrubs in a garden. It also works well when planted next to a fence or helped up an unsightly wall, and forms a good cover over water tanks and other utilities. To keep this climber tidy you will need to prune it after flowering.

Jasminum multipartitum (Starry wild jasmine)

This is an evergreen indigenous scrambler or slow-growing creeper that starts blooming in late spring, with lots of heavily scented flowers. The heady fragrance is subtle at daytime but intensifies at dusk, filling the garden with fragrance. The leaves are leathery and glossy, and the dark pink flower buds are carried singly on the tips of stems, opening up into large, white star-shaped flowers followed by blackish fruit loved by birds. Plant this jasmine in compost-enriched loamy soil in full sun to shade. Avoid spots that can become too hot as the foliage can bleach or turn yellow. This plant loves regular feeding with a balanced fertiliser to encourage masses of blooms. Use it as a background rambler, against a wire fence, trained against a trellis framework, or in pots.

Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star jasmine)

Star jasmine ticks all the boxes as a perfect plant, making it a best seller! It tolerates sun or deep shade, can survive short periods of drought or neglect, and will still bloom abundantly in late spring and early summer. Lush, leathery, dark green leaves on this evergreen climber ensure a goodlooking plant all year long. When in flower, the whole plant is covered in nearly overwhelmingly perfumed jasmine-like flowers that remain on the plant for quite a while, creating a breathtaking cloud of white. Suited to all gardens countrywide, whether cold, coastal or subtropical. It is also a good choice for large pots and graceful obelisks, and even works well if planted under trees as a groundcover.

For more on gardening: www.thegardener.co.za
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