January plant of the month

Evergreen and with superbly scented flowers this shrub can fit in even the smallest garden

Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'All winter flowering daphnes lift the spirits, but none more so than Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' AGM with its highly fragrant purplish-pink and white flowers. Despite our slightly acid soil, daphnes do well here at Rosemoor, provided they do not become too wet or frozen for prolonged periods.

This evergreen, medium sized shrub is a useful plant for areas of partial shade but it will also be happy in full sun and, like all daphnes, resents transplantation. Flowering profusely, it fills the garden with a cinnamon-lemon fragrance and will perform for six weeks, or even longer over the winter period. However, there is always the danger of it being knocked back by a hard frost.

A favourite plant to combine it with at Rosemoor is Sarcococca. Flowering at the same time, the fragrances mingle to form a heady cocktail of scent. In the Winter Garden we have used it in combination with Cornus mas 'Aurea' AGM with its tiny yellow flowers appearing on bare branches in late winter, usually after ‘Jacqueline Postill’, maintaining the interest in this corner of the garden. You could also try it with the colourful stems of Cornus and to add to the fragrance of your shady corner, combine it with Lonicera × purpusii 'Winter Beauty' AGM or Viburnum × bodnantense 'Charles Lamont' AGM. However, do not use too many different scented shrubs together or you will lose the individual fragrances.

Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'You need a bit of space around ‘Jacqueline Postill’ so that it can be fully appreciated; there are many plants you can chose to use as ground cover, including Bergenia, Helleborus, Narcissus 'Toto', 'Minnow' and 'February Silver', Carex, Epimedium and ferns as at Rosemoor. Other suitable ground cover plants could include snowdrops, Iris lazica AGM, Eranthis hyemalis AGM or Skimmia japonica cultivars.

This a very worthwhile shrub to grow in a shady place near to the house or a path so that the fragrance can be fully appreciated. It also remains compact and so is ideal for a small garden.

More information

Advertise here

Discuss this

for the site or to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.