Add to the interest from a chimonanthus
, or other winter flowering plant, by planting a few early spring bulbs around the base of the chimonanthus
, a few of those snowdrops, crocus, scillas or chionodoxa will do well.
Ideal plants for both colour and fragrance are winter sweet or Chimonanthus
Luteus (pictured), which has fragrant yellow flowers on bare winter stems, witch hazel and especially the variety Pallida whose spidery yellow flowers have the scent of sweet tea, all the mahonias with their yellow flowers and strong fragrance, and Viburnum Dawn, which although lightly scented is wor th investing in for its gorgeous pink blooms.
Trained against a wall in the rose garden is the plant Chimonanthus
praecox, or Winter Sweet.
If you want fragrant shrub than winter sweet, Chimonanthus
is not too big, reasonably slow growing, eventually reaching about 8ft.
Much smaller with yellow sweetly scented flowers is the Wintersweet, Chimonanthus
Late winter and spring: Galanthus, Eranthus, Salix, Corylus, Lonicera x purpusii, Mahonia, Chimonanthus
praecox, Sarcoccoca, Scilla, Chionodoxa, Pulmonaria, Lunaria, Symphytum, Borago, Myosotis, Aubretia, Arabis, Hyacinth, Tulip, Acer, Aesculus, Betula, Crataegus, Prunus, Fraxinus, Berberis, Chaenomeles, Malus, Pyrus, Viburnum, Ribes, Forsythia.
or Winter Sweet comes to life at this time of year with bare woody stems dripping with gloriously fragrant, pendant yellow flowers that are tinged with purple in the centre.
For winter charm, choose Chimonanthus
praecox , the wintersweet.
praecox , is grown less often, perhaps because the flowers are a little less obvious and less brightly coloured than its rivals.
This can be very simple - hyacinths in pots, whose perfume matches the colourful bulb, being strong and heady, or the more subtle Chimonanthus
praecox, a wall shrub that I have talked about in these pages before and which will forever remind me of my college days.
praecox, the aptly-named Wintersweet, has small, pendent, waxy blooms of yellow.
Look out for cornus, kerria and salix species and hybrids for bark colour and choose from one of the following to guarantee a splash of winter flower colour - hamamelis, lonicera x purpusii, mahonia, chimonanthus
, viburnum bodnantense and sarcococca - all with scented flowers.
Sweet by name and nature - the scented chimonanthus
Alternatively plant Chimonanthus
praecox or winter sweet for the delicious spicy scent that is produced by the weather-resistant yellow bell- shaped flowers.
Will you bring in one or two stems of Hamamelis mollis, Chimonanthus
praecox or Lonicera purpusii in a few weeks so that the flowers and their wonderful scent can permeate your house, covering up the aroma of boiling sprouts?