Double Flowering Mock Orange Defies the Odds in My Garden

A double-flowering mock orange, Philadelphus 'Buckley's Quill' has defied the odds and continues to grow in my garden

In my garden, the double-flowering mock orange is hidden behind some other shrubs, including a pearl bush, Exochorda,  so it is only visible if you walk into the vegetable garden and look from there  to the backside of a border called The Shrubbery.

It is so hidden my first thought on seeing blooms in that general area was to wonder if the pearl bush was still blooming.

Of course, other than both being white, the blooms of a double-flowering mock orange and the blooms of a pearl bush aren't all that much alike.

The second thought I had was one of astonishment that I still had a double flowering mock orange in my garden.   I thought I'd lost it forever when I cut it back and moved it one spring to the other side of the garden.

Then I decided it didn't really belong where I had put it so I moved it to another equally unsuitable location.

Then I came to my senses, more or less and moved the mock orange to The Shrubbery, where it is now growing about five feet from where I first planted it probably a decade ago.  It is undersized, still, from all the moving around. It is currently only about three feet tall but should grow to five feet tall, especially if I leave it alone and stop moving it to new locations every few years.

For care, it asks for nothing and that's what it gets.  In fact, as far as plants go in my garden, this one is as close to neglected, nearly forgotten, as a plant can get.

And had I not walked around the garden this morning, I wouldn't have noticed the blooms.

But I did go out into the garden, and I did see the mock orange in bloom.

I was reminded again that many plants grow in spite of the care or lack of care we give them.  And those are good plants to have in your garden.


  1. This old fashioned plant is one of my spring delights. While it often look gnarly and quite put out with the world during spring these intensely fragrant flowers are most appreciated. I too ignore it most of the time but not during spring blooming season.

  2. Love mock oranges! I've had them at all my previous homes and must find a spot for one in my new home. Reliable and great as a screen between one's house and the neighbor's. I remember early in my gardening days, a heavy snowfall cracked the branches of my shrubs, and I carefully made slings for the branches and tied them together again (they did heal). A few years later I realized how unnecessary all that care was, as they grew vigorously and needed clipping far more than repairing!

  3. Beautiful! I love mock orange. I had one at my other home that was from my parents home. Unfortunately, I had to leave it when we moved. I ran out of time. :(


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