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Gorgeous Scents

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 January 2014

Sarcococca confusa

Sarcococca confusa


The experts at Monkton Elm introduce us to three lovely smelling plants and give us their seasonal advice

Hints and tips for January

Don’t forget to Winter wash fruit trees to kill overwintering pests and their eggs.

Look out for the arrival of seed potatoes now for the best selection and ‘chit’ them on a light, frost free windowsill.

Continue to carry out pruning on 
apples and pears.

Now is the time for a little armchair gardening, planning your veg 
plot and checking out new 
varieties to try.

Tender shrubs may need protecting so make sure you have plenty of horticultural fleece to cover them on cold nights.

Let us introduce you to three exceptional plants that provide lovely scent in January.

When days are still dark and all the decorations have been packed away for another year they provide a burst of Winter fragrance for an instant pick-me-up.

Daphne odora aureomarginata

This is guaranteed 
to remind you of granny’s garden
 – a real old garden favourite, and 
rightly so.

It has many virtues.

Its glossy, evergreen leathery leaves have narrow, irregular, yellow margins, lighting up the Winter garden and it makes a lovely rounded, small shrub.

The-heavily-scented flowers are a 
deep purple-pink and white, held in terminal clusters and flowering 
continues until early Spring.

Plant in well-drained, fertile, 
humus rich garden soil in full sun 
to partial shade.

Daphnes are not recommended 
for pot culture.

Sarcococca confusa

Otherwise known as the Christmas 
Box, however, it rarely flowers 
much before January.

This breathtakingly-fragrant dwarf evergreen shrub bears tiny, white, almost insignificant flowers through late Winter into the Spring, followed by interesting, glossy black fruits.

It thrives in deep or partial shade in moist, but well-drained soil.

Perfect for planting alongside the path to your front door, to welcome you home.

Chimonanthus praecox

Commonly known as Wintersweet, its name says it all.

An unusual Winter gem, this vigorous, upright, deciduous shrub is smothered in pendant, fragrant, yellow waxy flowers, which are almost translucent in the Winter sun and their centres are stained with purple.

Plant in full sun with shelter from cold, drying wind.

Just a couple of sprigs in a vase will scent an entire room. Prune after flowering if necessary. Chimonanthus may be a little shy to flower when young, but well worth persevering with.


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