Thursday, October 15, 2015


When I came to "J" I really had to scratch my head (no I didn't get splinters) and after much thought I came up with JASMINE and perhaps JONQUILS, although the latter are not one of my favourites, much preferring the larger daffodil.

I do have jasmine growing but it is not the scented type which is fortunate as I believe it can cause symptoms of hay fever and we have enough of that already (particularly this spring in W.A.).

Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family.  It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of Eurasia, Australasia and Oceania.  Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers.  (our jasmine has no scent).  A number of unrelated plants contain the word "jasmine' in their common names.

Unfortunately the jasmine vines we grow are annually attacked by some creature that almost completely shreds the leaves.  We have never discovered what does it but I am sure there is one particular grub that prefers jasmine to other plants.  We are currently gradually removing the vine that is growing on the pergola in our back garden much preferring the snake vine which is gradually taking over.

Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring perennial plants. Various common names including daffodil, daffadowndilly, narcissus and JONQUIL are used to describe all or some members of the genus.  The flowers are usually white or yellow with either uniform or contrasting coloured tepals and corona.

As said above, I much prefer the larger daffodil as I find the jonquil has an unpleasant perfume.  Others may disagree with me on that point but I do find them rather overpowering although have to admit they are very beautiful.

There may be another reason I have a dislike of jonquils.   Back in about 1969 we as a family were all set to attend some function or other at daughter's school.   There was some type of celebration being held in Phil's office (perhaps pre-Christmas but I forget its purpose) after work that day.  Now Phil is not and never has been a heavy drinker but that evening he was apparently enjoying himself and had a few too many beers.   Realising he was running very late (we lived next door to the business where he was employed) he said "I must be off.  I am running late."  One of his co-workers grabbed a bunch of jonquils from a vase and said "Here, take these and apologise for being late.".    Phil arrived in a hurry clutching the bunch of jonquils and as you can imagine I was not amused.  It was far too late to to go the school and fortunately it was an event daughter didn't really want to attend so no harm done.  I must admit it was rather chilly in the house for several hours but we often talk about it now and have a good laugh about it.  It was the first and only time I had seen Phil truly inebriated.


  1. I like the look of the smaller jonquils, but agree their scent is overpowering and not at all nice. They are yet another hayfever trigger for me. My favourite Jasmine is the star jasmine, it's scent is also sometimes strong, I think it depends on weather and time of day as well as age of blooms.

    1. You could well be right about weather and time of day making a difference to floral perfumes.
      The star jasmine is beautiful and I know folk who find it a bit much 'cos of hay fever.

  2. Some jonquils aren't scented. It is worth investigating because they are very pretty.
    Scented jasmine is not only a hay fever trigger it can be incredibly invasive.
    My favourite J plant is the Jacaranda. And avenue of them is an amazing sight.

    1. We don't grow any bulbs these days as I can't get down to plant them and Phil has his hands full trying to keep the garden in some semblance of order.
      I too love jacaranda and our neighbour has two in her front garden
      When I worked in Como (an older suburb) our office was on the first floor and when the jacaranda were in bloom you could see a sea of blue for quite a distance. Lovely.

  3. Hari OM
    Jonquils are indeed overpowering and hayfever inducing - not that I have that trouble, but three of my family members do. I LOVE jasmine - but it can trigger my asthma. Jacaranda is gorgeous - but is of course not a 'cottage plant'!!! YAM xx

    1. Seems we all agree about both jonquils and jasmine, perhaps for different reasons.
      No you can't really think of jacaranda as a garden flower as they use them to line streets as well. There is one street in Leederville where the jacarandas flower every year. Beautiful. xx