Compact scented plant needed

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Wicksey
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Compact scented plant needed

Postby Wicksey » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:49 pm

Our apricot tree has dropped dead and we don't want to replace it with another tree as it was blocking our view. It was planted in a small area in the middle of the terrace (south facing and quite exposed) and as we do not have any spare tiles to fill in the gap, we will put another plant in but what to choose?

We want something bushy but fairly compact and flowering, preferably scented. Everything else in our garden has grown to huge and unwieldy proportions (dama de noche whose scent is overpowering, plus hibiscus and oleanders although they're not scented but do grow well and we already have loads of African Daisies Osteospermum).

Any suggestions?

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby ashtondav » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:22 pm

Jasmin? Rose?

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Wicksey
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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby Wicksey » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:35 pm

We have a jasmin and it tends to want to ramble everywhere. We do have a lovely standard old English type of rose in another bed .... I could look into what varieties they do here that has less thorns ..... they're not my favourite plants when they are very prickly which is all the types we have here at the moment. I chop them down to the ground but they keep on coming up again even more vigorously than before. We inherited a rather well planted/overcrowded garden!

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby chrissiehope » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:43 pm

A rosemary bush would fill the gap nicely - once it is established you will need to trim it back each year or it will get quite large ! Lavender is another option, the same pruning advice as the rosemary :-) - depending on the size of the bed, you may need a couple of plants. You can use the rosemary for cooking (or BBQ), and tho' it's a bit of a faff, the seed heads of the lavender make great 'smellie' bags for presents.
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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby El Cid » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:59 pm

If the position killed an Apricot that limits the choice. I would go for another Adelfa (Oleander) as they survive on the motorway central reservations and need little water. No scent but they flower profusely for a few months. Easy to prune to keep under control.

If it’s that exposed, roses will suffer. I would suggest a small orange tree but again the position will probably kill it. Possibly a small lemon. In our garden we have had problems with various fruit trees but the lemon survives everything. Keep it pruned and you will always have some fruit which will stay on the tree without getting too ripe.

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby fincalospinos » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:42 am

Damme de Noche, not the most glorious flower, but very highly scented, particularly in the evening. Will tolerate most environements and dry conditions.
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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby alisonb » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:56 am

I’d go for a scented rose. Take a look at David Austin’s web site. Their plants are expensive, but you will get a good idea of growth and scent. We have some in a very exposed, windy condition, and although they lose all their leaves over winter, they come back every year and flower well. Having said that, they do get watered regularly.
As Sid says, the oleanders will withstand blasting, and I’ve got one near the entrance which has a bit of scent.
For plants which will grow in exposed areas - pittosporum grows well but doesn’t really flower and can be clipped back once a year, but it’s fairly boring. The thing with yellow daisy flowers and greyish green leaves (sorry don’t know it’s name) shrugs off everything and is always in flower - grows to about 2 feet - isn’t scented, but it doesn’t need much water.
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Wicksey
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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby Wicksey » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:12 pm

Many thanks for your responses.

We've got all of the plants suggested including a huge dama de noche that is currently in flower and the scent is so overpowering as it wafts into the house we have to shut the windows at night, plus a large number of oleanders that we do battle with on a regular basis as they are overtaking everything else. We can hardly see out from some of the conservatory windows but it has been too hot to cut back and there's the job of dragging sackfuls of debris up the hill to the terraces where we dump it all.

We guess that the apricot had just come to the end of its life as it was pretty prolific when we first moved here 6 years ago and was a mature tree then. We have about a dozen lemon and orange trees plus other fruit trees, but were hoping to find something bushy, ornamental and pretty to look at as it's in our line of view. I shall have a look at the roses as the nice one we have is nearby and seems to survive. This is an old photo but it flowers like this every May/June but looks a bit scabby throughout the winter.

Image

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby El Cid » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:18 pm

When I suggested Oleanders, I didn't explain that I was referring to the miniature ones with small (often pink) flowers. We have a couple in the garden beds and they are very nice and compact. We have a hedge/windbreak of the big ones and it is about 4 metres high!

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Wicksey
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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby Wicksey » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:48 pm

Do they have a different name Sid? I wish the previous owners here had planted the miniature ones as we have them next to the house and they are taking over. Most things grow really well and it's a case of chopping everything down all the time. I shall have a look in the local garden centre and see that they have, although they may have more choice as the cooler weather comes along. Our local one is very seasonal.

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby El Cid » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:19 pm

I don't know which Viveros you use, but my favorite is Viveros Amberes, along the coast road from Torrox to Nerja. Huge premises and a very good stock. Difficult to spot, just look for the sign.

Sid

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Wicksey
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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby Wicksey » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:23 am

That's the one we always use Sid. It has been extended in recent years but the prices are still good and the choice is now huge.

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby ashtondav » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:48 pm

There's an even bigger viveros on the road to velez Malaga. Not been but it looks much bigger than the torrox place. Oh btw, oleanders are poisonous, yes?

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby El Cid » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:47 pm

Yes, they are, like many plants in Spanish gardens.

A tip - don't eat them!

Sid

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby Lyric » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:23 pm

Which road to Velez ?

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby Gasman » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:35 pm

You know - for your BIG oleanders you really can chop them down hard and they will come back up from 6-12 inches from ground level and then you can keep better control of them - will look a fright to begin with but will soon come back.
I think El Cid is the expert on roses round here - but we find that after they have flowered in spring, they prefer to be cut well back, as you might do for a winter prune in the UK, so that they can slow down in the summer heat and not bother trying to flower, then they grow back with the autumn rains, for full flowering just before Christmas again. Prune more gently after flowering and you get more lat April/May.
I would suggest something small and bushy if you want to have your view back - I think Rosemary or Lavender are probably among the best ideas, trimmable, flowering (you can get white flowering Rosemary or lavender, if you dont want the usual blue/purple and there are also mini versions, or the bigger most robust ones), and useful.
Our locals have told us not to expect plums, apricots, and even peaches/nectarines, to last for more than 7-10 years !!!! as they are so prone to bugs in the ground eating the roots - and also watch out for Voles (not moles) which are vegetarian and just LOVE prunus roots .... and though they need watering to keep them alive, they really do not like water round their roots !!! So we have lost several plum trees and one apricot, and two peaches, over the last 10 years, which must have been 6+ years old when we moved in - shrugs from the neighbours and mutterings of natural wastage.

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Re: Compact scented plant needed

Postby El Cid » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:25 pm

After first flowering of the roses, I don’t prune hard, but I do dead head as far back as I can go leaving the new shoots to come through as low down as possible.

It does depend so much on the rose variety. I have a few Queen Elizabeth and they can throw 1 metre or more shoots every time you cut them back. I also have a few Brilliant Pink Iceberg and they shoot again just below the old flower head so you really don’t want to cut them back too far.

I have found that each rose has its own characteristics and needs to be treated accordingly.

Our roses are just emerging from their summer hibernation and will still be flowering until I prune them in January. They will never be as good as they are in May but there are always enough for some cut blooms.

Sid


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