Sarcococca confusa, also known as Sweet Box or Christmas Box, is a delightful evergreen shrub that adds fragrance and visual interest to any garden. I love this plant and use it often in my designs. Growing up to 1.5 meters tall, it is a great choice for borders, groundcover, or as a low hedge. Sarcococca confusa produces small white or cream-colored flowers in late winter or early spring that have a delightful vanilla-like fragrance. These flowers are followed by shiny black berries that add further visual interest. The plant is a great choice for wildlife, as the flowers provide an early source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, while the berries are a favourite food source for many bird species.
A great addition to any garden, Viburnum farreri provides year round interest and colour. The foliage begins bronze in spring before turning dark green and then purple green in autumn. Once the leaves have fallen, the bare branches are smothered throughout the winter in pinkish white flowers. Plant on a corner or edge of a path where you will pass by regularly and you will be rewarded with the gorgeous fragrance. It has an upright habit and is ideal for all kind of wildlife because of its winter flowering time. Will grow to 3m x 2.5m. Needs a well drained and preferably fertile soil.
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena'
This witch hazel has a glorious display of orange flowers in the depth of winter which also release a subtle citrusy perfume. During the growing season, the large, green leaves turn to a stunning shade of orange and red for a fabulous autumn display. Once the leaves have fallen you are left with a beautiful, architectural wide vase on which the profusion of orange flowers are borne from January to February. Tolerant of most soil conditions other than chalk, this shrub is also fully hardy. Allow it plenty of space to spread as it can potentially reach 4 x4 m when mature.
Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'
A majestic shrub that bears clusters of small, deep pink flowers which are strongly scented from January to February. The flowers are followed by rounded, purple-black berries. This semi-evergreen shrub thrives in a sunny, sheltered position. It is slow growing, but well worth having and it is particular lovely when planted near a path so that the scent can be appreciated. It ultimately grows to 1.5m wide by 4m high and requires minimal pruning.