Shrubs that are scented add another dimension to our garden, especially at this time of year when it can be so quiet in the garden with not much happening, or so you might think. I was passing a flower bed yesterday and the shoots for the snowdrops are already peeping through the soil and before you know it the daffodils will be shooting up too.
You might have seen recently that I mentioned the Choisya Sundance (pictured here on the left), which I have found is really scented. I think it smells a little like basil, it is an evergreen shrub. If you are not familiar with this variety of Choisya then it has yellow leaves, which really stand out in the winter garden, it gives a great glow of colour. It does flower, but I would grow it for the foliage and the scent alone!
Sarcococca confusa, is another great shrub for the winter garden.
It is also as known as sweet box, or Christmas box. It is another evergreen shrub, which means that it keeps it's leaf all year round. There are white flowers on it during the winter months following with berries which may last throughout the year. It is really a sweetly scented shrub, hence it's common name Sweet box.
It likes the sun, but can also do well in part shade too. You don't really need to prune the Sarcococca, but you can prune anything that's damaged once it's finished flowering.
Viburnums are another great winter flowering shrub to have in the garden. They require a little space but are worth having with their tiny white flowers, amongst the narrow evergreen leaves.
There are so many different varieties of Viburnums that there is a book dedicated to all of them... which is called Vibernums by Michael Dirr. This variety of Viburnum is tinus. You don't really need to prune this Viburnum, but if you do want to cut it back the best time is during May. If you're planting this in the garden, remember it likes sunshine, but it will do well if there's a little shade too!
Mahonia, is one of my favourite winter flowering shrubs. I think it's the mass of yellow flowers and the prickly leaves, (which the kids have learnt not to touch, and if I'm ever asking for help, this is one they'll just refuse on sight!)
It flowers from November through to April depending on the weather. It's evergreen leaves can be a little prickly. However the shrub has an abundance of yellow flowers during the winter months, followed by blue berries. It can grow tall, but you can keep it in check by pruning it once it has finished flowering. Mahonia's can do well in a shady area too, so if you're looking to brighten up a corner, this can work well.
These are just 4 examples of winter flowering shrubs that would look great in any garden right now. We have them all in stock at Rockbarton Garden Centre and we'd love to help you pick the right plants for your garden.
Happy Gardening, Lynda
Lynda is married to Bryan and they have 5 children, Together they have created a garden centre with the perfect plants, shrubs, trees and flowers to help you create the ornamental garden of your dreams !