Jasmine Polyanthum

Jasmine Polyanthum probably the best known Jasmine certainly the most highly scented and free flowering, this twiner is a strongly growing vine once established, to the degree it is on the forbidden list in New Zealand. This Chinese Jasmine suckers vigorously and becomes a runaway menace that threatens to dominate native bush.

It flowers in spring and sporadically through summer, and you'll frequently see it everywhere in New Zealand gardens. A different story in the New York flower market where for a bridle bouquet, a bunch of five stems can reach $15 ! for heavens sake.

Moving day

As is usual these last days of April are mild, sunny and great growing times. I'm gathering Persimmon and walnuts and the last of the apples. It's been a glorious late summer this year, anyone planning a visit to New Zealand should definitely choose this weather reliable time of the year. Each lovely day I'm trying to record in the minds eye the panorama spread out from the deck, of the Mahurangi river and off-shore islands. Why on earth would I want to move?

Frankly, on this extensive property I find there is now just too much to maintain. I plan to move to Warkworth town and a charming house on the river bank with much less garden maintenance required. Yes, I intend to take some plants with me, - a number of hybrid Clivia, a collection of Nerines in pots, presently in bloom, which I included in a recent post. Although their flowering season is brief, it's spectacular and a stand out as summer ends.

I plan to share some pictures of the new house as we move in during May. It's late in the game, at my age but I'm ready for a new challenge and Nancy and I are happy to move into the village. We can walk into town, in 10 minutes.

Citrus medica

On page 224 of 'Flowers are my passport' I describe the fascinating Chinese lemon, Citrus medica, now developing, as they change from bright green to yellow, - Lemon yellow in fact. While they don't produce juice as the popular Meyer, their value lies in the fascinating variety of forms and a sweet lingering fragrance that can scent a room. Thanks Sally Tagg, a friend and great photographer.


As the summer garden fades, some new treasures appear with the shorter days of Fall. Right now, persimmons are coloring and as my trees are of the popular Japanese variety Diospyros Kaki, I gather them as the color deepens along with the sweetness of the fruit. See my reference to this delightful fruit on page 37 of my book. Indoors the firm fruit begin to soften slightly but I prefer the sweet flesh while its still crisp. They also make a great decoration for the dining table.