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Seville Oranges From the Tree

January 14, 2012

No we didn’t pick them but many streets and squares in Santa Cruz were full of trees dripping in Seville oranges. They looked simply wonderful in the winter light with their dark glossy leaves silhouetted against a clear blue sky. Incidentally the Spanish think it most peculiar that we make them into marmalade. I travelled light so couldn’t bring any back but will hope to buy mine at the St Nicholas Farmer’s Market on wednesday.

And this pot of hyacinths, which was just about pushing a flower through the soil when we left six days ago, sprang into life and greeted us on return with a delicious scent. Perfect timing for week 11 of flowers from the garden. And I was greeted by spectacular scent outside the kitchen door from a row of Sarcococca  otherwise known as Christmas or sweet box.  An Irish garden designer friend Lucy Moore introduced me to it several years ago and I purchased one plant and took cuttings. It’s easy to propagate if you have room for a small hedge but it’s equally good as a single plant in a pot and that’s enough to fill the air with an intense perfume. Naomi at has just posted a very useful blog on choosing plants for scent throughout the year including sweet box. Her photograph shows it well and although the flowers are tiny and it’s not a spectacular plant for the rest of the year, it’s one I would always want to plant near a garden door.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2012 5:46 pm

    I have just started to make a batch of marmalade but had to resort to Morrisons, they look wonderful in the picture far better than in a red net!!

  2. January 14, 2012 6:01 pm

    Hi Sue, thanks for the mention. I read an article by Mary Keen in the Telegraph wondering why Sarcococcas aren’t used more for hedging, especially with Box blight being so prevalent. I wonder too as it’s such a winner with its amazing scent.
    Love the simpicity of the Hyacinths in your pot and what lovely perfumes to come home to.

  3. January 14, 2012 8:13 pm

    Oh! I’ve just discovered that my blog feed is not telling me when you post new blogs, so I’ve just caught up with the last three or four. I’m looking forward to the seville oranges too and I’ve promised myself a new preserving pan that will work on my induction hob.

    Your allotment adventures are very inspiring.

  4. January 14, 2012 10:38 pm

    I like the sound of the sweet box- I shall have a look for that! Good Luck with the marmalade making. My Dad is starting to look out for Seville oranges as he makes his own marmalade (he’s the only member of the family who likes it!)

  5. January 16, 2012 2:03 pm

    What a great picture of Seville oranges in there true home. I’ve always fancied visiting Seville. I walked past some sarcococca the other day. The scent was incredible. I might look at putting some in my front garden.

    • January 16, 2012 2:45 pm

      Seville was quite the most interesting and beautiful European city imaginable. I would suggest Santa Cruz for hotels close to all the stunning architectural hot spots of which there are many. And the fruit trees were a complete surprise and looked startlingly pretty dripping in an abundance of Seville oranges.


  6. January 16, 2012 9:57 pm

    Isn’t Seville wonderful!

    Gorgeous week 11 hyacinths Sue, I have Hellebores … it seemed a pity to cut them but it is so cold here just now that I’m not sure they’d have lasted in these minus temps and they weren’t really visible from the house. And the big news of the week … we’re finally getting an allotment!

    • January 17, 2012 9:03 am

      Well done Annie and wishing you very many happy allotment days.

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