The winter is beginning to bite and it is going to get colder. But that doesn’t mean that there are no flowers to enjoy in the garden. January blooms are like jewels and they are very often fragrant too. I picked some of my favourites and here they are spilling out of their jewel box .
But the sweetest of all has to be Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’. This is the queen of the January garden.
The dark pink blossom is the first bloom on my Japanese Apricot, Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’ and its dark pink flowers are sweetly fragrant too but not as intensely as the daphne.
The little tufts of Sarcocca hookeriana var. humilis are strongly fragrant and have a musky perfume.
The witch hazels which we love to grow because they come in such an amazing range of colours are crosses between the Japanese Hamamelis japonica and the Chinese Hamamelis mollis which is strongly fragrant. The resultant Hamamelis x media hybrids are only faintly fragrant and some of them don’t smell at all. At any rate it is difficult to discern any scent outside. But if you bring them inside then they have a lovely subtle sweet scent. This one is ‘Jelena’.
More scent comes from the winter honeysuckle, Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ and a late spray of Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’.
I only just noticed that the little bells of Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica ‘Wisley Cream’ are fragrant too.
The snowdrops are Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’. This snowdrop has a light fragrance when you bring it into the house. Many snowdrops do in fact smell sweet but I think this is one of the best for scent.
If you pick Iris unguicularis in bud you can almost watch it unfurl in the warmth and it has a light fragrance too.
The little bit of pink blossom peeping out of the bottom of the above picture is Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’. It will go on blooming until the spring unless we get a really cold spell and then it will have a rest and carry on when the weather gets milder again. I can’t discern any fragrance but it is very pretty and dainty.
To set off all these jewels I have used catkins from the hedgerow hazel, sprigs of red and orange dogwood and the weeping birch Betula pendula. There are some sprigs of forsythia I picked last week, and for foliage there is the marbled leaf Arum italicum sub. ‘Marmoratum’and a yellow leaved ivy.
The ‘jewel box’ is a flower brick which I bought at Highgrove when I went to have lunch with HRH years ago. OK, to be honest it was not just the two of us tête-à-tête. He invited all the County Organisers of the National Gardens Scheme and their partners for lunch, so there were a lot of us there. But I still boast about it and show everyone the photograph. And I remember the occasion every time I get my flower brick out.
Thank you Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for encouraging us to prowl round our gardens whatever the weather to find something lovely to put in a Vase on Monday.