Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Winter Blooming Wonder

Winter jasmine
Day 21
The Daily DuBrule

I have a plant in my garden that has been blooming on and off since last November. Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is really fun to grow. It is classified as a vine yet it doesn't cling and it doesn't twine. It has long, leafless branches that reach outwards and upwards. You can tie them to a trellis or let them drape over a stone wall. If they touch the ground, they will root.

The flowers open on warm days in late fall, winter, and early spring. If the temperature drops into the low 20's, the open flowers will freeze but the buds will be fine. The next warm spell means more flowers! They are a sunny yellow color that cheers me up every time I look out the living room window.

I never thought this zone 6 plant would be hardy in my Middletown garden but I decided to give it a try anyway. I sited it on the south side of the house, in a warm, sheltered alcove. It has been thriving ever since.

I wish it was fragrant. One would think, being a jasmine, that it would be. Alas, it is not. But, it has one feature that can't be beat in the winter time- it makes a wonderful, long lasting cut flower! Because the stems are green, I cut a bunch of them one day to embellish a bouquet of cut flowers. Imagine my surprise when these branches burst into bloom, lasting long past the daisies I had purchased.

I just glanced outside on this February morning. The sun is rising and the sky is glowing bright pink. It is 27 degrees out and my winter jasmine is in full bloom, backlit by this magnificent sunrise. Life is good. 

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