Meeting: 29 January 2019


Our January meeting was a nose-tingling presentation about winter scent in the garden. Gail Plant specialises in designing gardens with the emphasis on scent, not just summer scent but all year-round scent. Many of us, I am sure, do not think of scent in the winter but Gail showed us, with many specimens that were passed around during the talk, that plants can and do produce scent in the winter. Initially it was thought that the talk was winter and spring scent but Gail explained that if we included spring scent we might still be there at breakfast time the next morning as the list was so long. Scent is a very individual thing. Gail explained that it is scientifically proven that women can detect scent better than men and brunettes better than blondes! What is an attractive scent to some is too sickly for others and some scent is detectable by one person but not by another. This became very evident as the specimens were passed around and as a man, I was clearly at something of a disadvantage! Gail gave advice as to where and what to plant to get the most out of the garden in winter.

The list of plants that produce winter scent is surprisingly long and given the above it would be wrong to give my personal views as to which was the best, but a list of winter scent producing plants is available on the club website. I was particularly struck by the scent of Clematis Armandii, snowdrops and daffodils none of which I had ever really considered as scent producing.

Gail was kind enough to send us this list of plants she mentioned in her talk:

Winter scented plants
saracococca, confusa and hookerii digyma.
prunus beni mume chidori
chimonanthus praecox ;winter sweet
hamamelis;witch hazel
viburnum; bodnantense “Dawn” and farrier
Daphne odora aureomarginata
Rosemary;lodden pink, capr, and prostrate.
Mahonia, charity
Winter clematis, Cirrhosa “jingle bells” “freckles” and “armandii”, “wisley cream”
Honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima “mint crisp” and “winter beauty”
Viola odotata ( wood violet)
Iris reticulata
Perennial wallflower Erysimium Bowles Mauve
Chamomile (lawn variety)
primrose vulgaris