The Dombeya

The Excitement of a New Plant - part two

Six months ago I bought a Dombeya rotundifolia on a whim, a not ashamed, not going to pretend otherwise, a very definite whim.  When I wrote about its arrival earlier this year I said that I have watched many gardening television programmes and read many gardening magazines and books and one piece of advice that they often give is not to buy plants on an impulse or whim.  You should know what you want to buy and where you are going to put it.  There is an atmosphere around whim-buyers of naiveity, waste and lack of planning.  It is probably the sort of thing 'beginner gardeners' do, those who are still wet behind the ears.  It might be just me, but I feel there is a general 'official' tutting at those with no plant purchase control and yet in reality I think most gardeners do it as (funnily enough) we love plants.

Even after saying that I feel the urge to justify, to say that I do plan most of my plant purchases and more often than not I do know exactly where they are going.  The real fun though I am sure is when the impulse fairy takes control and you buy that plant that just made you say "ooooooh".  I like a good whim-purchase, that plant you did not know you wanted until you saw it and then you just had to have it.  Sometimes a whim will sit in its pot for a while whilst I consider where it will go, but it will always go somewhere and I cannot recall ever regretting such a purchase.

I do not regret buying the Dombeya at all.  It lived for the first few months in the conservatory as they are not hardy.  I put it outside a few months ago and joy of joys some buds appeared.  The buds got larger and larger and then,
then the first flower opened,
then another,
the whole fat round flower head opened up.  The scent is like sweet vanilla ice cream, the sort you buy from ice cream vans.  It is, without doubt, very pretty.
I am extremely pleased with my whim.


  1. What an interesting looking plant, the flowers are very pretty!

  2. Such a beautiful plant, never heard of it :)

  3. To hell with the PTB (powers that be), and let's celebrate plants bought on a whim! It's great to plan a garden and what you will plant in the main, but it's also a great delight to come across an unplanned plant that you fall in love with & just have to have. Gardens often thrive on the 'unexpected plant' and if a whim plant doesn't work out, so what?! Often planned plants don't work out. And it such fun to be entranced by something new.

    I've never heard of Dombeya rotundifolia but from your pictures it looks like quite a beauty. Hurrah for whim-plant-buying!

  4. That Dombeya is a beauty. I saw on Madeira quite big shrubs of them.


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