Filling the garden with perfume.

In the back garden, the bowl of Freesias that I was given by  friend Celia for my birthday, have been flowering their socks off and perfuming the garden for weeks now.

First flower bud


Each time I walk past them, they stop me in my tracks.

First flower

I just wish you could smell them.

Fully out

The yellow inside the flowers links up with the alpine  to the left of it and the santolina that I have nestled the bowl into.

Spray opening

Quite a few people commented on my last post when they first saw it, that they couldn’t find a golden santolina in their books.

More flowers each day

This made me wonder, had I got it wrong, maybe it wasn’t a santolina after all.  Out came my books, and no, I couldn’t find one anywhere either.

All out

This morning I Googled Golden Santolina, after wading through all the sites for Golden Retriever dogs, I found it on Annie’s website in America

Santolin virens Lemon Fizz

It turns out it is Santolina virens Lemon Fizz. If anyone would like it and can’t find it locally, I will willingly take cuttings and send them, just let me know.

Santolia Lemon Fizz

So there we are, mystery solved. I have no idea where I got it from, probably from a plant fair run by Plant Heritage ( formerly NCCPG). It does tend to revert to green, so each year I cut quite a lot back while giving it its annual haircut. I have never grown freesias before, but now I am determined to try some more, come the autumn where they will be kept in the conservatory over the winter. Thanks Celia for these lovely red ones, my birthday present will hopefully flower for years to come!



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20 Responses to Filling the garden with perfume.

  1. Caro says:

    Thanks for solving the santolina mystery Pauline – when you take cuttings, I’d be very glad to give one a new home! Your Freesia is a gorgeous contrast with the santolina, very beautiful. There is so much beauty in the garden at the moment, every day brings new sights and smells – this morning the scent of honeysuckle was everywhere in the gardens here – I chopped it hard back at Easter and it’s flowering prolifically now! 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I’ve started a list Caro and you are top of it! Once the flower started opening and I saw that the inside was mostly yellow, I knew exactly where to put it. At the moment the scent on the breeze has been Philadephus, but the freesias take over when you are close to them. Honeysuckle is such a beautiful perfume, ours flowers later in the year, another perfume to look forward to!

  2. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Ooh, I can smell the freesia through the computer; It has such a delightful fragrance! I tried Lemon Fizz one year but it didn’t survive our wet winter. The two make a wonderful combination!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks for stopping by Peter and leaving a comment. My Lemon Fizz has been in place for over 10yrs now but in the raised bed it is enjoying very good drainage, the only spot in the garden which has it! In spite of the rain last year when it seemed never ending and the cold of 2010/11 it continues as normal thank goodness, because I do like the splash of bright yellow.

  3. Alberto says:

    I did some research and was very happy to tell you I found that Lemon Fizz too, then I read your post and you found out on your own. I won’t ask for cuttings, golden leaved plants don’t thrive in my garden, sun hits too hard on them, but I love that plant and the red freesia found her right place in there! Oh, how sweet they smell, it’s been ages since I don’t smell a freesia though.

    • Pauline says:

      They do smell wonderful don’t they Alberto, this is why I must grow my own in future, the only ones I have had before have been as cut flowers. The red freesias go so well with the yellow santolina, both of them so bright in the sunshine that we are enjoying at the moment.

  4. Cathy says:

    How different that red freesia is from the more usual pastel colours – presumably it will be happy to continue coming up year after year in your garden? I am unsure whether to jump at your offer of some Yellow Fizz – perhaps I will, as it would add some fizz to the hot border. keep enjoying the smells – my roses have been lovely today in the heat and no doubt yours too.

    • Pauline says:

      The freesia isn’t hardy Cathy, that’s why I have kept them in their bowl, so that I can bring them into the conservatory for winter. I’ve put you on the list for a cutting of Santolina Lemon Fizz, will let you know how they get on. Walking round the garden is wonderful at the moment, not just the flowers to look at, but all the different scents are amazing.

  5. kininvie says:

    Still a week or two to go before I have any fragrance. The philadelphus is very late this year, thanks to the cold spring.

    • Pauline says:

      Kininvie, ours too is late this year At the moment there is a rose Wedding Day up the ash tree behind the Philadelphus, they have never flowered together before, usually the Philadelphus is over by now. Let’s hope the sunny, hot weather reaches you soon.

  6. Christina says:

    The golden Santolina is very interesting, does it need the same conditions as the silver ones? I grew Freesia’s for the first time last autumn; I too love the perfume; I hope you’re successful when you try some.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Christina, well drained soil in full sun. The raised bed, which used to be the old pond, is the only place in the garden where I can grow anything which needs good drainage, it seems very happy here.

  7. Cathy says:

    I had never thought of growing Freesias! I love that fragrance and very occasionally buy a bunch. Great idea to put them in pots.

    • Pauline says:

      I’ve never grown them before Cathy but this has made sure that I will be buying some different colours in the autumn. I do like bulbs as presents, it means the present goes on and on which is lovely.

  8. Jason says:

    I have never been able to enjoy the scent of freesias, but I can see it is a lovely flower. I’m putting this on my to-do list.

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Great images of the Freesias, Pauline. I can almost detect the scent from here. Susie

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Susie, You must have a really fantastic sense of smell!! They do smell wonderful though, they catch me every time I walk past.

  10. Celia says:

    So pleased to see the Freesias are flourishing. Their colour is so bright. I did wonder if it would blend with you colour scheme. Stunning pictures Pauline. My Lilies are a little slow this year. I think the Magnolia is stealing the light so i must move them for next year. Love your blog!

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Celia, lovely to hear from you, thank you so much for the freesias, they really were super! The red went really well with everything around them. I think they are finished now ,or maybe there are some more little buds forming lower down the stalks, will have to wait and see.

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