Thirteen years ago I brought a sambac jasmine (also known as Arabian jasmine) back from Tuscany. I was there to write a book about a wonderful nursery called Venzano near Volterra. Sadly the nursery is no longer there, its monastery buildings now converted into luxury apartments, but I still have several plants, including the jasmine, that I brought back with me as reminders of a wonderful place. The jasmine is a tender plant and needs winter protection, but it is worth the effort for the incredibly heady fragrance of the flowers. Unfortunately this year its flowering has coincided with the arrival of cool weather so we won’t have the experience of sitting outdoors in the evening and enjoying its exotic scent. Like the rest of us, it clearly enjoyed the extended hot weather because it has never before flowered so profusely.