Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Make Perfect Scents All Winter; Fill Your Winter Garden with Fragrant Shrubs That Will Flower Right through to Spring

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Make Perfect Scents All Winter; Fill Your Winter Garden with Fragrant Shrubs That Will Flower Right through to Spring

Article excerpt

Byline: Pattie Barron

WHAT better reason to get outdoors in cold weather than to enjoy the fragrance of winter flowers? The roses might be over until next summer, but there are shrubs that will deliver winter perfume better than any scented candle to enhance your outdoor room. Bees will benefit, too, from the rare food source.

Give yourself a good reason to be led up the garden path by planting a fragrant winter-flowering shrub at the far end of your plot. The spicy scents of exotic witch hazels are worth the trek, and the showy blooms on bare twigs resemble chenille spiders. Two of the finest are coral-flowered Jelena and deep red Diane. Viburnum bodnantense Dawn is a can't-kill shrub that makes another great winter choice. The large pink flowers smell of honey and almonds, and keep on coming from late autumn until spring.

rich scent and pretty fruit Mahonia is the perfect shrub to plant by the front door, or as a focal point in ground or container. It thrives in shady London gardens. Large cartwheels of evergreen leaf sprays give mahonias a handsome architectural presence all year round, and from early winter, they produce extravagant, rich yellow flower sprays that smell just like lily of the valley. As a bonus, the flowers are followed by bunches of navy blue berries that birds adore. Winter Sun is the compact variety for small spaces.

Honeysuckle's reputation for wonderful scent is upheld with the winter version, shrubby honeysuckle Lonicera purpusii. Winter Beauty is the gardenfriendly variety to look for, and will give you the sweetest scent from clusters of creamy flowers on the bare branches which can be clipped to give you jugfuls of scented garden flower stems. With just green leaves in summer, it needs to be planted as part of a crowd scene in the border.

Park something deliciously fragrant right by the patio or terrace. Christmas Box is a great choice for a small garden. It forms a compact evergreen dome that from late winter is covered with sprays of tufted white flowers. …

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