Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Welcome returns

In warm, evergreen Sydney we don't have all that many deciduous plants, and oddly enough my favourite deciduous plant doesn't even come from a cool climate. It's tropical, it's the frangipani, and it's back in leaf and fragrant bloom. Welcome back!

Easily my favourite flower fragrance, sweet frangipanis produce the same reaction in people as roses do. Without hesitation, almost everyone who comes across a frangipani bends their head to sniff the fragrance and comes up smiling. It is such a lovely perfume.

Grown from a largeish cutting taken a few years back (thanks, Krissy!), our little frangipani tree is doing well on its simple regime of 'no extra water, no fertiliser'. Just leave it alone and it should do well here in Sydney. In many neglected gardens in my local area the frangipanis are magnificent. Mine will take another decade or more to become a shady tree. It's a slow grower.

We often pick frangipani flowers to bring inside to float in shallow bowls of water for a day. As you can see there are plenty of buds forming, so the supply should last for months.

While there are many different frangipani flower colours to choose from, I much prefer the classic yellow-centred white blooms. A lot of people have told me that they do, too. Perhaps it has to do with meeting these, the most common frangipanis in childhood, falling in love with them then, and never having eyes for anything else. Some of the other colours available do have a touch of the bordello about them, garish lipstick hues.

I never tire of the scent of my frangipani. Most days when I'm out in the garden doing ordinary chores such as watering or weeding or whatever, I'll pop over to the frangipani for a moment for a 'hit' of sweet simplicity. It's my catnip.


Corner Gardener Sue said...

We are in the middle of a blizzard where I live. Seeing your lovely white and yellow blooms is a treat!

Chandramouli S said...

Lovely blooms and lovely fragrance too! Have you tried them in pots? They do well in pots too, like Adeniums.

Jamie said...

Hi Chandramouli

I grew my cutting-grown plant in a pot and it thrived for the 18 months it spent growing its root system in the pot. Then we planted it out in the garden, because a frangipani is what Pam has been dreaming of having in our garden all these years. But you're right, they're terrific in pots. A wonderful plant all-round!

PJ said...

Oh they are so pretty! They always remind me of the icing ones on fancy wedding cakes. You get to grow some great stuff in Sydney. I suspect here they'd fail abysmally (although with globel warmning ...)

Annanas said...

Yes the scent is not something you forget! We were given one as a gift once, but watered it too much since we thought it was a tropical plant that wanted loads of water. So unfortunately it drowned.. So pretty tho!