Philadelphus for citrus-scented mock orange blossom

Mock oranges vary greatly from huge leggy monsters, to compact twiggy bushes so it’s essential to choose the correct one. The smallest and slowest growing is ‘Manteau d’Hermine’ a double-white form, which rarely gets above one metre in height. This is perfect for a container or at the front of a narrow border, although the fully double flowers only have a faint fragrance.  Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile' is three times the size with very citrus-scented, wide-open white flowers that have a raspberry-pink blush to each middle. This goes perfectly with pink roses. Remove a third of the old wood after flowering to promote new growth for next year’s flower.

If you want a darker splash of colour there’s a new philadelphus with narrower, silvery foliage and downward-facing white flowers smudged in crimson. Found in plantsman Maurice Foster’s garden, this unique philadelphus is named P. maculatus ‘Sweet Clare’ after Maurice’s daughter.  It’s naturally airy and needs no pruning.