I am joining the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day this month which is hosted by May Dreams Gardens. At last things are waking up in the garden and as we have not had any harsh weather this winter everything seems really early.
Fragrance seems such a feature of the winter garden. Giving me pleasure to look at and to sniff at the moment there is:
Mahonia japonica which is just coming into bloom now has an exquisite fragrance of lily-of-the valley. Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ and ‘Lionel Fortescue’ are nearly over now just as this beauty is starting. The flowers are a paler yellow and the fragrance is much more intense than that of ‘Charity’. If you want a strongly perfumed Mahonia then this is the one to go for.
Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is sweetly scented and flowers all winter long.
Almost out but not quite there, Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ is the most exquisitely perfumed Daphne. In fact she is the most exquisitely scented plant in the garden. If I was only allowed one winter flowering plant this is the one I would choose. She is superb.
Lonicera x purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ is a cross between Lonicera fragrantissima and Lonicera standishii. I think it is the best of the winter-flowering honeysuckles but like all of them it takes up a lot of room. It is lovely for picking though.
I have already written about my Chimonanthus praecox this month, but I have to include it because it is one of the sweetest smelling of the winter flowering shrubs.
Sarcococca hookeriana var digyna is my favourite Sarcococca. It has such pretty flowers and like all of its tribe it sends wafts of perfume round the garden. For those who don’t know it I wish I could describe the perfume but it defies description. Please go and find one to sniff.
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Vesna’ has lovely, long, yellow spidery petals with orange centres. it also has a fantastic Autumn colour. Vesna was the Russian goddess of spring which seems appropriate for this beautiful witch hazel . This and ‘Jelena’ are always the first to come into flower in my garden.
So there we have all the lovely fragrant plants Now we go on to a tree which I have planted in every garden I have owned. It flowers all winter, only stopping for a while if the weather is too cold and frosty.
Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ has the daintiest little flowers and looks wonderful against a blue winter sky. ‘Rosea’ is the pink form you can get it in white if you prefer.
So that is the shrubs and trees in bloom at the moment. But on the ground exciting things are happening. Some of the Hellebores are out.
Helleborus x hybridus ‘Walberton’s Rosemary’ was a new acquisition last year. I love it, you can see that it has ‘niger’ in its parentage by its large flowers which don’t hang their heads like those of H. orientalis. It came into flower before all the other hellebores. The orientalis buds are just opening and some of the paler ones are out. They always open before the dark ones.
Another favourite is the hybrid Helleborus x ericsmithii’. I have ‘Winter Sunshine’ and ‘Winter Moon Beam’ which are gorgeous but not yet out. Last week I broke one of my New Year’s resolutions and bought another Hellebore.
Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Shooting Star’. Well who could resist those creamy flowers with the rosy pink veined backs and pink buds? These gorgeous hybrids bred by Eric Smith have Sternii in their breeding which gives them their lovely veined leaves.
Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’ is my favourite amongst these dainty winter flowering irises. In a sheltered spot, it flowers before any of the others in my garden, the flowers are larger and they are fragrant. Who could ask for more than that?
I’ve already written recently about my wonderful, very early Narcissus minor ‘Cedric Morris’. Here is another photograph of them still looking gorgeous.
This Cyclamen coum is out before any of the others. it is a particularly pretty one with pewter coloured leaves.
Glanthus elwesii but I’m not sure which one. It is slightly fragrant though and nice and early.
Eranthis hyemalis just showing their heads like little yellow buttons . Any day now there will be carpets of them but the first glimpse of the winter aconites peeping through the soil is always exciting. I took these photos yesterday because the sun was shining and the sky was blue. Today is dull and murky but never mind the garden is awakening.
Do visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what other gardeners have out in their gardens today.