Winter in the garden doesn’t have to be all about sharpening tools and pruning roses. It can easily be all about winter fragrance.
So with a little forward planning you could have enough perfumed winter flowers to give spring a run for its money. Here are three of our favourites guaranteed to give your chilly nose aromatherapy of the botanical kind.
No discussion about fragrance would be complete without daphne (Daphne odora), the classic sweet winter fragrance. Although daphne can be tiresomely
difficult, her clusters of small, starry, pale-pink and ivory flowers are winter stand-outs. Just a small sprig can perfume an entire room. Give it
a spot with morning sun, protection from cold winds, moist, cool, humus-rich, well-drained soil that is slightly acid, she should last a decade.
Daphne odora. Photo – Linda Ross
Brown boronia (Boronia megastigma) is a popular nomination for fragrant native award. It occurs naturally between Perth and Albany. Flowers are
cup-shaped, with a gold interior and milk chocolate-to-burgundy exterior. Buy it now, when it’s in flower because some varieties have the good looks,
without the fragrance! Like most tough West-Aussies, Brown boronia prefers nutrient-poor, well-drained soils and no humidity.
Boronia megastigma. Photo – Linda Ross
3.Magnolia Silver Cloud
The best winter-perfumed feature tree would have to be Michelia doltsopa ‘Silver Cloud’. Sandra and Graham have planted this outside their bedroom
window for perfume, and privacy. It’s a stately pyramid-shaped tree to a well-behaved 6m. The ivory, magnolia-shaped flowers smell like a tropical
lemon – fresh and refreshing – and last for up to three months. They are borne on top of zesty lime-green foliage.
We almost didn't notice our new Magnolia ‘silver cloud’ in flower, until we we're knocked over by the fragrance! Photo – Linda Ross