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“Making Scents…”

March 6, 2012

It may surprise you to know that there are plenty of scented flowers available for the drab winter months. Yes that’s right, even in the cold depths of winter there are some flowering gems that brave the inclement weather and there’s nothing like winter scent to entice you into the garden to lift your sprits.

Viburnums are always good value for the garden and there are several varieties to chose from, but remember that some Viburnums will grow into large shrubs. Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is studded with clusters of strong honey-fragrant pink flowers that bloom on bare leafless stems from autumn through to spring. This shrub can reach a height of up to ten feet. The Viburnum tinus is an evergreen shrub with heads of reddish buds that open into many white flowers that have a subtle fragrance from autumn onwards.

The Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’, Wintersweet gives off a fabulous scent from its waxy looking small yellow cup-shaped flowers. The flowers are on bare shoots throughout winter and this shrub can grow to a height of eight feet.

The Sarcococca hookeriana, also known as the Christmas Box or Sweet Box, is a four foot evergreen shrub which has sweetly scented small white flowers in winter that has the bonus of being followed by spherical blue-black berries.

There is a Winter Honeysuckle, Lonicera x purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ with fragrant small white flowers that bloom from winter to early spring and has a spreading habit of up to six feet.

For excellent winter interest, choose the Witch Hazel, Hamamelis. It has wonderful clusters of spidery- shaped orange fragrant flowers on bare twigs. This particular shrub has a tree-like shape and can grow up to twelve feet.

A super treat in the winter is the rich scent of the Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’. This shrub is best grown in a sheltered position and for this it will reward you with sugar pink clusters of richly fragrant flowers that bloom over a long period.

I’m a big fan of the Mahonia x media ‘Charity’, it’s big and bold with architectural evergreen foliage and has several long cylindrical spikes of tiny yellow flowers. The lovely scent is similar to that of the ‘Lilly of the Valley’.

So, the next time you see a winter flowering plant, check it out to see if it has as fragrance to lift your spirit in a winter garden.


 

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