The Winter Jasmine
Winter jasmine was a popular flower for the dark cold days of winter, particularly grown near or over doorways and windows where it would be ‘all alive and full of golden light’ with its generous display of yellow flowers. For the gardener suffering through the gloom of winter, it was like a reassurance that not everything had succumbed to the wintry grave.
The jasmine was introduced into Britain from China by Mr. Robert Fortune in the 1840s (Mr Fortune making several expeditions to China on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society). It was a very hardy winter shrub – unaffected by everything save the most severe and prolonged blizzard.
Any soil would suit the plant, but Hibberd advised a sheltered spot with a dry, warm, sandy soil would suit it best. The growing stems needed to be nailed to the wall, and the growth pruned back occasionally – but not too much, which would be a terrible mistake.
Information and image taken from F. Edward Hulme and Shirley Hibberd, Familiar Garden Flowers (Cassell, Peter, Galpin and Co.: London: c. 1890), 5 vols.