Buying the perfect gift for someone that has everything can sometimes be tricky, but if they have access to an outside space, then how about buying them a scented shrub to remind them of you and your friendship every year at Christmas time?
How about a winter flowering honeysuckle? There are two varieties to choose from, flowering from December to March, deciduous or semi-evergreen. They both flower on bare stems, showcasing their delicate scented flowers to give the maximum impact.
Lonicera fragrantissima has creamy-white flowers in mild spells on bare stems, sometimes followed by red berries, and in spring, has green leaves flushed with purple. This variety grows to 2m high and 3m spread.
The second, Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ is similar but has clusters of white flowers and is a little more compact in its growth, 2m high and 2.5 m spread.
My second choice of shrub is Wintersweet or to give it its proper name, Chimonanthus praecox, has gorgeous and aptly named perfumed blooms.
Flowering from December to February, it may take a year or two to get established before it flowers, so this one is for the more patient gardener, but well worth the wait.
Plant in a spot that enjoys winter sunshine to warm those yellow waxy flowers to enjoy the lemon, with a hint of spice scent that will not go un-noticed.
This shrub will need space to grow, although relatively slow growing it will reach 4 m high by 2.5 spread is perfect to train against a sunny south-facing wall or fence.
Until next time Happy Christmas.