Inspired by my neighbour, who has one in her garden, I planted a stauntonia at the back of the border last year. I was a bit disappointed with it – it was billed as ‘vigorous’ but didn’t grow much. In fact, it didn’t do much at all. I feared for it over the winter – it’s supposed to be planted in a sheltered spot, and I had planted it in an exposed, windy one (as has my neighbour).
This year, it has romped away, clothing several feet of fence, which is exactly what I wanted it to do. But it’s main virtue is its incredible scent, which comes from the tiny, insignificant flowers. It’s so intoxicating that I can’t tear myself away, and as a result the border has never been so well weeded.