This evergreen shrub sends a sunny glow through the darkest spaces. It quickly becomes a fountain of arching, somewhat spiny branches lined with 3- to 4-inch-long leaves splashed a bright yellow. On their silvery undersides, the leaves are speckled with a metallic copper colour, which also covers the twigs. The flowers are tiny and white, clustered under the leaves in fall. Though nearly unseen, they call out to passersby with their rich fragrance. Small orange fruit follow in spring.
Noteworthy characteristics: Great fragrance, spring fruit. Extremely durable plant.
Care: Grow in full sun to full shade in any soil. Once established, it won't need any supplemental water.
Propagation: From hardwood or softwood cuttings; from seed.
Aucuba japonica , the spotted laurel , is a shrub (1-5m) native to woods in lowland and mountains all over Japan and China .
In rich forest soils of moist valleys, dense forests, thickets, by streams and near shaded moist rocks in China. The leaves are opposite, broad lanceolate, 5-8 cm long and 2-5 cm wide.
Aucuba japonica are dioecious , they have separate male and female plants. The flowers are small, 4-8 mm diameter, with four purplish-brown petals; they are produced in clusters of 10-30 in a loose cyme . The fruit is a red berry approx. 1 cm diameter.
They are often avoided by birds. They are a popular garden plant in the United Kingdom and western Europe.
Mahonia X Media ‘Charity’
Lilly of the Valley Bush
Genus: Mahonia Species: x media Cultivar: 'Charity' Skill Level: Beginner Exposure: Partial shade, Shade Hardiness: Hardy Soil type: Well-drained/light , Dry , Moist Height: 400cm Spread: 400cm Flowering period: November to March
Mahonias are grown for their attractive foliage and fragrant, showy winter flowers. 'Charity' has an upright habit with long leaves consisting of 17 to 21 dark green leaflets. Stalks of bright yellow, fragrant flowers are produced at the ends of branches from late autumn to late winter. They look particularly good at the back of borders when plants in front die down in winter to reveal the beauty of their flowers and foliage.
Viburnum X bodnantense ‘Dawn’
Exposure: Full sun, Partial shade Hardiness: Hardy Soil type: Well-drained/light , Moist Height: 300cm Spread: 200cm Time to take cuttings: June to August Flowering period: October to March
The seldom seen V. grandiflorum crossed with the award-winning fragrant species V. farreri produced this lovely hybrid in the 1930s. It is characterised by its numerous and densely packed 7.5cm (3in) clusters of rose, pink or blush white blooms, appearing in winter and very sweetly scented. In cold gardens bushes flower from January to March, but in mild winters they bloom from October to March with a short break. 'Dawn' is the form usually grown, a large shrub which eventually needs thinning, but harder pruning will keep it compact. To propagate, take cuttings in summer. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Lornicera X purpussi
Shrubby or Winter Honeysuckle
Common Name: Shrubby honeysuckle Genus: Lonicera Species: x purpusii Cultivar: 'Winter Beauty' Skill Level: Beginner Exposure: Full sun, Partial shade Hardiness: Hardy Soil type: Well-drained/light , Clay/heavy , Acidic , Chalky/alkaline , Moist Height: 200cm Spread: 300cm Time to take cuttings: April to June
'Winter Beauty' is one of the best of the winter flowering shrubby honeysuckle, with sweetly fragrant creamy white flowers that appear in late winter and early spring. It makes an attractive spreading deciduous shrub that will fill the spring garden with its rich scent. Plants look better without pruning, and so should be allowed plenty of room to develop. They tolerate shade, but they flower best in full sun. It can also be trained against a wall.