I stopped by a local nursery to pick up a couple grasses that I needed and I spotted a vine that I’ve never grown: the deciduous Mandevilla laxa, known as Chilean jasmine. The large, very fragrant, white trumpet-shaped flowers quickly won me over, so I had to bring one home to try. It grows 10-20 feet and is supposed to be frost-tolerant.
The Sunset Western Garden Book says that it is much hardier than the related Alice du Pont and Red Riding Hood Mandevilla varieties. Chilean jasmine prefers full sun near the coast and light shade in hot inland areas. The fragrance is supposed to be similar to a gardenia, but to me it seems to have a softer, gentler scent than a gardenia, though still quite potent and really beautiful.
We’ll see if I have any success with it. Hope so! My nose has been stuck in its flowers every time I go onto the porch since I brought it home. If anyone has tips on exactly how much sun/shade to give it that’d be super!