Even as the days get shorter and the garden looks barer and barer in these often gloomy winter days there are actually some special plants that perform real intoxicating wonders out in the gardens which tend to catch us out. Scented shrubs that can lift Winter Gloom.
They are the winter flowering scented shrubs that really rally us gardeners and get us through the winter whether it rains, snows or is frosty.
No matter what is thrown at them they just keep on performing and showing off their pretty flowers but once they hit you with this wonderful intoxicating sweet scent that can only lift one’s mood out of any doubt of the long season ahead.
It is often regarded that the winter scent beats any other seasonal scent, but it could be that we are looking for our winter saviour.
With most scented shrubs think location, position it by a window, a door so that you may enjoy the scent when leaving or arriving but be cunning and you may just get your neighbors caught out chasing the scent.
Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ is an absolute star for scent and with pretty white slightly pink-flushed clusters of flowers, slightly more fussy with growing conditions, but boy does it pump out the scent to some distance.
It can be expensive due to its surge in popularity but should you find one then you will adore it.
Mahonia japonica ‘charity’ is an evergreen and can grow happily in some shade but come autumn it rolls out these bright yellow scented flowers that go on through until Christmas and sometimes beyond but then you get the fruit that looks like black grapes, but don’t eat them as they don’t taste good at all – from experience.
Lonicera fragrantissima winter honeysuckle belts out the scent through winter and is ever so sweet but easy to grow. It will grow to about 2m x 2m so what I would advise is to prune it after it has flowered taking out congested or old wood.
As another treat, they will often form suckers that pop up around the plant – dig them up and pot them on, free easy plants.
Lastly, a wildcard, Carolina ‘allspice’ is ever so hardy and can flourish down to minus 15C degrees if placed in a fairly sunny spot.
Firstly, it has these crimson magnolia-like flowers but that’s not its secret – take a handful of leaves, crush them and just breathe in the clove/cinnamon like scent and as an extra bonus would you believe, when you need to prune it, usually November time, then keep the cuttings and dry them – they smell like cinnamon sticks?
Other scented shrubs to look out for are ‘chimonanthis praecox’, clematis ‘winter beauty’, witch hazel and viburnum x dawn bodnantense.
Jobs to keep you busy
1. Cut back the dahlias once they blacken and either dry and store them or like me, mulch them.
2. Make sure you clean out your bird feeders and keep up with the feeding.
3. Start planting bare root roses and most dormant trees as they respond and recover much quicker this way and they are cheaper.
Gathered from Cornwall
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