Sow and Plant Sensationally Scented Plants

If you’re looking to plant up containers to bring an immediate dose of cheer to your garden, varieties of pansies and violas, purchased in flower from your local nursery, in your favourite colours, will brighten your garden.  With regular deadheading they, will flower from now until summer arrives.

Victorian Violas were awarded a Gold Medal by the RHS judges for their pretty Viola exhibit, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

If you’re looking ahead to the summer and you’re keen on bedding plants, this is a great time to sow seeds of Lobelia, Antirrhinums, and Pelargoniums, in the warmth indoors.

If you’re thinking of purchasing compost, you may be interested to read the results of my Compost Trials.  You’ll find links to all of my Compost Trials here.

A Gold Medal winning display of Pelargoniums from Fibrex Nurseries, pictured at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’

The delightful blooms of Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ bring joy to the winter garden.

Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ is a super wintersweet, which while it grows well in most well drained soils, thrives on chalky soils.  Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ is a large shrub, which flourishes when planted in a warm, sunny, and sheltered position, where it can be enjoyed, admired, and appreciated during the winter months.  Prune Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ immediately after the flowers have finished in early spring.  This isn’t a shrub that is invigorated or grows well after a dramatic cut back, so take care to only lightly prune, removing any dead wood first, then gently prune where necessary to maintain a pleasing shape.

The beautiful flowers of Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ broadcast their powerful and intoxicating scent to brighten dull winter days.

Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ can be slow to flower, so it’s worth investing in a large specimen.  Shrubs of four years old, or older, will be more likely to enchant you with their flowers, which are comprised of waxy, translucent, soft lemon yellow outer petals, and inner petals which are the same subtle lemon colour but washed over, painted, and infused with maroon.  These distinctive flowers would make the most perfect hats or skirts for flower fairies! The deeper lemon coloured, rounded flower buds decorate the branches of this shrub, adorning it like pretty beads.

The bead like buds of Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ decorate this shrub beautifully.
The bead like buds of buds of Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ decorate this shrub beautifully.

Certainly Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ flowers look very pretty, their heady perfume will delight, encourage, and entice you to venture outdoors!  Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ has the most exquisite perfume, it’s loud, it calls you over and bewitches you with its decadent, strongly perfumed citrus, floral scent, which has notes of coconut, banana, and soap!

Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ is a delightfully perfumed shrub for the February garden.

Kew Orchid Extravaganza!

The Orchid Extravaganza at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2017.

To experience this shrub for yourself, a beautiful example of Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’ can be found close to the lion statues, which are next to the lake, opposite the Palm House, as you enter the gardens at Kew.  If you’re looking for a day out, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a fantastic place to visit at this time of year.  The Kew Orchid Extravaganza opens on Saturday 3rd February 2024.  You can see my photographs from Kew’s 2019 Orchid Festival, here, my photographs of the 2018 Orchid Festival at Kew, can be found here, while my photographs of Kew’s 2017 Orchid Festival, are here.

The Orchid Extravaganza at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2017.


Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Pink Elephant’.

For an immediate dose of scent that you can enjoy indoors, look for pots of forced hyacinth bulbs at your local nursery or garden centre.

This article was first published in the February 2018 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.

For more gardening advice for February, please click here.

For gardening advice for mid January to mid- February, please click here.

To see photographs of the 2017 Orchid Extravaganza at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, please click here.

To find out what went on behind the scenes at the 2017 Orchid Extravaganza at Kew, please click here.

To see photographs of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, please click here.

To read the first instalment of my White Orchid Trial, please click here.

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