Plant fragrant shrubs in winter, expert suggests

Winter is the time for gardening and greenhouse enthusiasts to buy fragrant shrubs, one expert has suggested.

In an article for the Daily Mail, former Gardeners’ World presenter Nigel Colborn admitted January is not a great month for gardening, but argued this should not give people an excuse to do nothing.

To brighten things up, Mr Colborn continued, shrubs that grow to a substantial size can pack powerful perfumes that enliven any outside space in the coldest time of the year.

He suggested planting varieties such as the powerfully perfumed wintersweet, subtler hamamelis and winter honeysuckle.

In smaller spaces, daphnes are a good bet, the specialist added.

"The purple-flowered, deciduous daphne mezereum is an old, compact cottage favourite, but prone to virus – few live longer than a decade, but each is a joy from February to April," he commented.