JASMINIM – Jasmine

These deservedly popular shrubs and climbers are loved for their pretty white or yellow flowers and their rich, heavy scent. They are easy to grow and should be grown around a doorway or close to a seating area.

Suitable site and soil. Jasmine thrives in an ordinary well-drained soil. Young plants need some protection in winter. J. nudijlorum will tolerate total shade but does not like morning sun which can damage the flowers. J. officinale prefers sun or partial shade.

Cultivation and care. Plant between autumn and spring. Prune J. nudijlorum flowering shoots back close to the base 108 after flowering but do not cut the whole plant back into the old wood. Thin out J. officinale after flowering, but do not cut back hard. Tie the shoots into the supports with garden twine leaving room for movement and growth.

Propagation. Take cuttings in late summer or autumn and overwinter under glass.

Recommended varieties. J. officinale is the common white jasmine which flowers from early summer to autumn. It is a vigorous climber with tiny white flowers and delicate mid-green leaves. ‘Aureo-variegatum’ (or ‘Aureum’) has leaves blotched with creamy-yellow. J. nudijlorum flowers in winter and carries golden-yellow flowers on bare branches, but lacks the fragrance of summer flowering species.

Pests and diseases. Generally trouble-free.


The scent of jasmine is so special, it deserves to be the focus of a summer arbour. A rustic seat and trellis are perfect, especially if grown with a scented rose.

KNIPHOFIA – red hot poker – torch lily

A family of hardy herbaceous perennials with distinctive spikes of closely set, tubular flowers in burning colours of reds, oranges and golds, which appear from early summer to late autumn.

Suitable site and soil. Set the plants deeply in the ground 60cm – 2ft apart in well-drained garden soil and full sun. In cold areas, cover with a cloche or a blanket of straw or bracken during winter.

Cultivation and care. Plant in autumn or spring. In early summer apply a light fertilizer. Cut off faded flower stems in autumn. No staking required.

Propagation Divide and replant in spring, taking care to disturb the roots as little as possible. Alternatively, sow named seeds from a nursery in drills outdoors 12mm – k&I deep in spring and transplant to their flowering positions a year later. Self-sown seedlings are rarely true to the parent plant.

Recommended varieties. K. galpinii has drooping, flame-coloured flowers on slender stems and grassy clumps of leaves (height 50cm – 20in). ‘Bressingham Torch’ is a taller hybrid (90cm – 3ft). K. uvaria has various forms which can grow up to 1.5m – 5ft, including ‘Bees’ Lemon’ with lemon-yellow flowers (105cm – 3V&ft); ‘Maid of Orleans’ (75cm – 2’ – 2ft) with creamy-white flowers; ‘Samuel’s Sensation’ (1.5m – 5ft) bright scarlet. K. caulescens has all-year-round foliage of long grey leaves. The flower buds are a pinkish-red and later fade to cream.

Pests and diseases. Generally trouble free.


Red hot pokers are a must for the flower arranger’s garden. Arrange the hottest colours with the cooling feathery flowers of Alchemilla mollis for a stunning display.

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