Monday, 13 June 2011


The Philadelphus - Mock Orange - in my garden is blooming now

The flowers of this tree are individually very pretty and have a strong sweet scent (like orange blossom, apparently). In many cases the trees too are attractive, but not (regrettably) in the case of mine. It is a very straggly tree with lots of bare bits. Here it is, at the bottom of my garden, near the shed:

 I think the blossoms appear on wood from the previous year, so I suppose it would be best to trim out old wood, but I don't know enough about this to attempt it. Should I perhaps cut it back very severely and let it re-generate? Can any readers advise me on this?

In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the blossom while it's there.


P.S. Please have a look at my new "Salads" page, and let me know what you think...


  1. Oh Mark, you have just brought back memories of my childhood. We had one of these and I absolutely loved the fragrance. Ours was never taller than about 1.8m - maybe my Dad kept it trimmed back, I don't remember. Something wrong with the Salads page I can't click on it - all the other pages are working fine - Blogger again??

  2. Hi Garden Girl; Hope you can see the new page by now - please try again, it works OK here. As you say, it may well be a Blogger issue, theirs is a pretty "flaky" service!
    Please send me some info about what salads you make in ZA!

  3. Also a fan of Philadelphus - though think of it as more bush-like than the one you have. I once wanted one with yellow leaves. I once planted one and it died. Can't have everything! Scent is lovely.


  4. Three cheers for your salad page! Though I'm not familiar with many of the greens (we don't get them here in India), they all look so tempting. The "Jamie Oliver" salad and the
    Radishes, dipped in salt, as an aperitif are great food shots.

  5. Those blossoms are just beautiful Mark. I have a mock orange Murraya hedge out the front of my front fenceline, and it flowers too but your blossoms have a much prettier shape. To keep it in hedge form I take to it twice a year and cut like a mad woman... which is pretty much my pruning technique in general :)

    Will look at salad page now.

  6. Beautiful blossoms. We have a tiny philadelphus waiting to go into the ground. They are one of the shrubs that will take severe pruning if they're grown out of hand (and straight after flowering is the perfect time to do it) but you will lose flowers for a year or two while it recovers, then a light annual prune should suffice after this.
    Taking a cutting from your trimmings will ensure its survival just in case!
    Have a look at the rhs advice for pruning Philadelphus...
    It recommends autumn/winter for complete renovation.

    PS Can't click on your salads 'link' either.


  7. Sara, thanks for the advice on pruning. I think I will give the tree the "severe" treatment...
    I'm annoyed by the business with you not being able to see my new page. Some people can see it OK, and others can't. Where's the logic in that?

  8. We have a double philadelphus which is flowering at the moment. Must admit it doesn't look particularly attractive when not in flower. When I remember to prune it I do so straight after flowering and cut out most of the twigs that have flowered so good strong new shoots form.

  9. That is a lovely tree, Mark...and I am not mocking you!

  10. Your salad page is very fun Mark. Will be really helpful on giving me ideas when we have many lettuce later and I start to complain again like the daikons...hehehe...

  11. love those blooms. will definitely take a look at your salads page and look forward to seeing more of your blog. (jumped over from Hazel Dene) Thanks for sharing!

  12. Wow !!! That is a amazing tree. I love the flowers. Great shot.

  13. Hi Dmarie! Thanks for your visit. It's always nice to welcome a new visitor. I hope that the cursed Blogger system will actually allow you to look at my Salads page. It's being a bit selective about who it allows in, just now!

  14. The blossoms are lovely, I look forward to see how it responds to a good pruning. The salad page is great, esp. the Jamie Oliver Salad. Makes me hungry and I just ate!

    Blogger has been flakey lately - I'm have a hard time leaving comments, it keeps asking me to log in again. Sigh....

  15. Mark, that's a beautiful shrub/tree - and has helped me to confirm the identification of the same in my garden! Mine's very tall too, though surrounded by a smaller lilac so the bare woody bits are less obvious. I'm going for the pruning technique of removing upto a third of the older wood after flowering. Repeat for the following 2 years to complete the renovation, but it means that you'll still get flowers on the parts you leave untouched.

  16. Hi Mark,

    My mum likes this Philadelphus Mock Orange plant you have. She has been looking for nearly two years for a large Philadelphus Mock Orange with large flowers.
    She has purchased a 'Philadelphus Belle Etoile' and a 'Phildelphus Virginal' and both have turned out to have smallish flowers.

    Are you able to let me know...

    - The exact full name of your Philadelphus (shown here)?
    - Where you bought it from (is it online, if so do you have the URL - so I can look into getting one for my mum - she has been looking for ages)?
    - Approx. how much was it and what size (height/width) was it when purchased?
    - What is the approx. diameter of the flowers when they are in full bloom?
    - How old is the plant you have - the photos indicate it is pretty large so you must have had it for a while...(will give me an idea of how long it takes to get to that size).
    - Is it best to grow in shade or full sun, etc?

    Any help you can give would be appreciated.


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