NEW BE­GIN­NINGS

Spring her­alds the awak­en­ing of the gar­den and in­fuses it with fa­mil­iar, joy­ful fragrances

Elle Decoration (South Africa) - - GARDENS - Text MARY MAUREL

Spring marks the be­gin­ning of warmer weather, longer days and an awak­en­ing in the gar­den. Buds and blos­soms push open, buzzing pol­li­na­tors de­scend and most of us as­so­ciate this time of year with the fra­grance of cer­tain plants.

For me, the tell-tale sign that we’re emerg­ing from the colder win­ter months is the blos­som­ing of jas­mine (Jas­minum polyan­thum). It’s the quin­tes­sen­tial spring fra­grance and lit­er­ally fills the air of my neigh­bour­hood with its heady, sweet scent. Trail­ing over walls or along fences, jas­mine flow­ers abun­dantly, al­beit it briefly, and is a must in any spring gar­den.

My other as­so­ci­a­tion with spring is wis­te­ria, with each of my child­hood homes hav­ing had a per­gola cov­ered in this vig­or­ous de­cid­u­ous clim­ber. It bursts into life in early spring, bear­ing fra­grant, droop­ing clus­ters of pea-shaped flow­ers in shades of laven­der, bluish-pur­ple, mauve and white. I’m struck by how many clients specif­i­cally ask me for wis­te­ria to recre­ate this shared mem­ory of a pur­ple spring canopy.

Then there’s the fruit blos­som. Apart from the plum, peach, pear and ap­ple blos­soms that fill the or­chards at this time of year, the gar­den of my child­hood on a farm in El­gin was filled with crab ap­ples and flow­er­ing cherry al­mond blos­soms.

Spring is short-lived, but it’s worth adding one of these plants to your gar­den to cap­ture the mo­ment we say good­bye to win­ter. Whether in a pot or in the gar­den, these shrubs put on a show around Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber de­pend­ing on where you re­side in the coun­try. Some of them con­tinue flow­er­ing into the sum­mer months, but the first spring flush is very of­ten the most im­pres­sive.

SPRING FLOW­ER­ING SHRUBS

Mex­i­can or­ange blos­som (Choisya ter­nata)

Yes­ter­day, to­day and to­mor­row (Brun­fel­sia pau­ci­flora)

Cape May (Spirea can­tonien­sis)

Star jas­mine (Trach­e­losper­mum jas­mi­noides)

Snow­ball bush (Vibur­num op­u­lus)

Hon­ey­suckle (Lon­icera japon­ica)

Deutzia (var­i­ous species)

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