Louise better known as Wellywoman wrote the other day about the perfumed plants in her winter garden and invited us to join with her and Sue at Backlane Notebook in recording each month what scented plants we enjoy in our gardens.
When I designed our first garden my husband said I could plant whatever I liked as long as it was scented; and although not every plant in my garden does have fragrance it is one of the major considerations when I am choosing new plants.
Interestingly almost every plant that flowers in winter has highly scented blooms and often the flowers themselves are quite small and inconspicuous. There is a local reason for this. In winter there are far fewer bees flying so colour isn’t going to attract them from a long distance away, whereas a strong perfume will draw them from vast areas.
Let me share with you some images of what perfumed plants are flowering at this moment, sadly I can’t share the perfume too but I do urge you to visit a garden with borders designed for winter interest so that you too can be intoxicated by their delicious fragrance.
Eleagnus has been flowering since the beginning of November and has a wonderful scent that lingers in the air and often mystifies people as the flowers are very small and insignificant.
Another evergreen with small white perfumed flowers, this one is supposed to be drought tolerant so I am hoping it will do well.
Unfortunately I’m not sure which this newly purchased Sarcococca is, it is planted under the Arbutus as it likes shade.
I’ve had this poor little Mahonia for a while; I think it is smaller now than when I first bought it as there was a lot of die back after the hot summer a couple of years ago. I moved it to the back border where there is shade in summer and the bed has some irrigation; if it grows it will make a nice backdrop to the spring walk.
In the greenhouse the perfume from the citrus plants is incredibly intoxicating when I open the door each morning. At present the plant with most flowers is the lime. Sadly I can see from my photograph that there is a woolly aphid on one leaf and some flies that might be other aphis on the flower, I must go out and deal with them before they cause a problem.
My favourite of all the scented winter shrubs is Lonicera fragrantissima; it isn’t a pretty shrub during summer although in a different climate you could grow a clematis over it; but it has the most wonderful perfume and it flowers for months in winter and into spring, the flowers are followed by pretty red, heart-shaped berries, and although ideally it would like a little more moisture it copes well with the summer drought.
Last, not a winter flowering plant at all but this rose has had flowers almost all the time for the past year. It has a wonderful sweet perfume and the foliage is very healthy.
Do visit Louise or Sue for links to other gardener’s posts about the perfumed plants in their gardens. Why not join in too; it doesn’t have to be winter plants so if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere.