Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Philadelphus 'Virginal'

Philadelphus 'Virginal' smothered with blooms

There's the most gorgeous scent chez VP Gardens for this month's Blooms Day because you've arrived here at the peak time for my mock orange, Philadelphus 'Virginal'. Most of the year she lurks at the back of the border because without flowers she's easy to overlook, but at this time of the year the flowers and scent are simply knockout. We've had a little bit of rain the past few days (welcome after 2 months of near drought) and the ensuing humidity has served to deepen the rich, citrusy scent even more.

Creamy Philadelphus buds waiting to open

The buds are attractive too and soon the petals will fall from those blooms already open to spread themselves like confetti beneath the nearby apple tree.

Beautiful double blooms

This is a fully hardy, easycare deciduous shrub suitable for the back of the border. It doesn't mind lime and clay, so it's ideal for the conditions here in Wiltshire. It's in a relatively shaded part of my garden, though it will stand well in sunshine too. I've neglected it dreadfully over the years and I often consider taking it out completely, but then for around a month each year it blooms and all is forgiven. I haven't pruned it for years and it still blooms like this, in profusion, which tells me it's earned its keep. This year it will be pruned straight after flowering's finished as that part of the garden is overcrowded now with moss beginning to grow along some of the branches which tells me I need to thin them to let the air circulate. I'll take out around one quarter of its stems after flowering and pray it doesn't sulk on me.

A profusion of double blooms with a sweet citrus scent

Do you have any plants that thrive for you despite neglecting their care? Perhaps we need to compile a list to aid other gardeners!

Garden Bloggers Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. That does look a beauty, Michelle, white flowers and scent is all the rage here too with wisteria and climbing rose madame alfred carriere. Ah, true neglect is hard here as my favourite tool is pruners. I had to think about this and my gunnera it is. It's an old plant, should be divided and protected over winter. I did look after it once. I would like to lift it and put something else in but daughters too sentimental over it. Its only a few leaves now, but they still come.

    1. Don't worry Shirley, my pruners are well used this year! I've got two large bags of material to use for mulch from a few days work to show for it ;) Lovely to see you again and I hope Lockdown has treated you well x

  2. My mother had gorgeous mock orange. They needed a lot of water, and when droughts hit Northern CA she couldn't keep them watered and they died. They smelled so wonderful. My native mock orange is Philadelphus lewisii, I don't know how that compares to yours as far as being carefree. I may just try it though, my local nursery stocks it.

    1. Yes, they like the clay soil I have in my garden, so you may fare best with your native one, Lisa

  3. Wow white beauty ! Lovely blooms of Philadelphis.

  4. I find the smell of Jasmine overwhelming. Flowering currant is often too rich. But mock orange and honeysuckle are wonderful.

    As for plants thriving without care - I'm having the opposite problem at present. I plant things in the window boxes and the cat sits on them as soon as they are tall enough to break and the little plants in pots and trays seem very keen either not to grow or to damp off in this strangely variable weather. I visit them every day but they are not encouraged.

    1. The honeysuckle is just about to flower, Lucy. I'm looking forward to it! We have a cat sitting on plants problem too, but luckily they've chosen an already bare patch from last year as this year's spot.

  5. Day lilies would be at the top of my list of "can't kill no matter what" flowers.

    1. I'm not a huge daylily fan Jeannie, but 'Corky' makes a cheerful space in my garden :)


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