This week I have been reading the gardening classic Down The Garden Path by Beverley Nichols which I am going to review on Sunday for a new regular winter slot on my Gardener’s Bookshelf.
Nichols has a thing for winter flowers, which he recommends picking in bud. He writes: “Most people… do not realise how exquisite the common Jasminum nudiflorum can be, for indoor decoration, if it is properly treated. They see it on their suburban porches, tattered and brown and windswept, with a lot of tiresome twigs surrounding the flowers, and they hardly even bother to cut it and give it shelter.”
Nichols recommends cutting branches of winter jasmine in bud, then keeping them for a week in a dark, warm cupboard. Of course, I am too impatient for that, so I just went out into the wet, grey garden today and cut a few twigs, which I have put into a plain glass vase with some fern fronds and ivy both of which are abundant in our garden.
For a colour contrast with the warm yellow of the jasmine, I have added the last few violent pink flowers from a fuchsia which I rescued from a spot in our herbaceous border where it was struggling and not in keeping and replanted just under the winter jasmine on an east facing fence.
I know I should have cut off the jasmine flowers at the base of the stem before putting them in water, but I think the yellow blooms look rather beautiful submerged.