Margarita Carolina Jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita'
'Margarita' is a powerhouse of a vine, reaching 8 to 10 feet tall (or more!) and 5 feet wide, and blooming very, very heavily in late spring and early summer. No fragrance in the world equals the balmy, sweet scent of Jasmine, and 'Margarita' transforms your patio, arbor, or sunny garden into a tropical paradise with every breath you take!
The blooms are wonderfully showy -- bright yellow, trumpet-shaped, and held in big 2- to 3-inch clusters that really stand out against glossy, deep green evergreen leaves. 'Margarita' can withstand a bit of shade without losing any bloom strength, so feel free to let it twine up open-habit shrubs and small trees. Its traditional spots include the mailbox post (gathering up those bills and advertising flyers was never so pleasant!), lamppost, and any and all trellises, arbors, and fences. Let it tumble over a wall to surprise passersby with its scent, or have it frame an entryway so that guests step into your home with a smile!
In the perennial garden, 'Margarita' makes a fine backdrop to any late spring- or summer-flowering plant. I like it behind Hardy Geraniums and Daylilies, where it adds some much-needed fragrance to their colorful display! But it's right at home with annuals, too, from Petunia to Impatiens.
Over time 'Margarita' will become top-heavy, so you might want to cut it back heavily right after it blooms (late summer or so) every 3 or 4 years. Beyond this, it needs no attention, tolerating heat, humidity, poor soil, and even drought (once established) in your garden! Deer and rabbits leave it alone, but nobody else will -- it's a star in any setting!
Space plants about 5 feet apart for good solid coverage. Zones 6-9.
|Zone||6 - 9|
|Bloom Season||Late Spring - Mid Summer|
|Plant Height||8 ft - 10 ft|
|Plant Width||5 ft|
|Additional Characteristics||Easy Care Plants, Fragrance|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Deer Resistance, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
|Uses||Beds, Border, Hedge, Ornamental, Vines and Climbers|
|Restrictions||Guam, Virgin Islands, Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico|
As the deer population has boomed and
food has become scarcer, they have become more aggressive. In some areas deer will
strip your garden bare, leaving nothing green or flowery behind. While there is no such thing as a completely deer-proof garden, there
are some effective things you can do to protect your garden from these
Use physical barriers
A High Fence
Deer can jump pretty high, but a fence higher than eight feet (higher on an up-slope) and flush with the ground will keep any deer out.
They are a much easier and less expensive solution. Deer generally will not try to jump electric fences, but will rather try to climb through the wires, receiving a deterring shock.
An even less extreme physical option is to put bird netting over your larger and more susceptible plants.
Plant Deer-resistant VarietiesHerbs, some conifers, and many flowers are some of the best deer-resistant plants. More fragrant plants will often deter predation. Planting just a few deer-resistant plants will limit grazing of your other plants. Remember, "deer-resistant" does not mean deer-proof. A hungry animal will eat just about anything.
Having a dog In the FamilyOwning a dog, especially a big dog will almost always keep deer from approaching your home. Just the scent of the dog will keep most deer away, and if your dog lives outside you will probably never see any deer.
For most gardeners, it is a combination of different solutions that works best. Every gardener has to find the solution that works best in their garden.
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Tips for gardening in particularly hot, dry climates:
1. Water with a drip system whenever possible – soak the bed slowly and thoroughly to a depth of 10" to 12".
2. Watering deeply every 3 to 5 days is preferable to a shallow daily watering.
3. Water in the early morning, so foliage has time to dry.
4. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or similar material to aid in water retention and help keep the roots cool during hot weather.