Rounding a corner of the garden on a freezing dark day I was suddenly aware of the most delicious scent filling the air. It is Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ which we planted 15 years ago and is now about twelve feet high. Every branch and twig is smothered in flowers and their scent is overwhelming. I almost feel it is summer again when progress round the garden is slow and laden with many different perfumes.
Scent is so important in the winter garden. It makes one forget the damp, aching cold. Daphne bholua has the strongest perfume but the transatlantica hybrids which keep flowering for most of the year are beautifully fragrant as well. I have planted several alongside the new steps beside the house which I am hoping will enhance the ascent to the upper part of the garden.