Scented gems

Coronilla glauca "Citrina"

Coronilla glauca “Citrina”

A couple of my scented shrubs have been giving me great pleasure over the last month or so – definitely scented gems!

My Coronilla glauca “Citrina” seems to have been flowering for ages! It started slowly, at the start of the year, and is now smothered in beautiful, lemon, pea-shaped flowers. They emit a lovely, fruity scent, that some people liken to peaches. I can detect fruit, but more vanilla. The whole plant is a thing of beauty, with glaucous blue leaves, that I can only describe as being like Ruta graveolens, the herb Rue, but without the scent. It is reputed to be slightly tender and is recommended to be grown against a wall for protection. Mine is freestanding, in our front garden, which is south facing and so is in full sun, which combined with our sandy, free-draining soil, seems to suit it so far – touch wood! It has quite a lax habit (maybe wall training would be the thing to do!) and so far, has not seemed to need pruning. I’ve just left it to do its own thing! It apparently can also be grown in pots – ideal for winter protection.
I bought my specimen a couple of years ago at the Malvern spring show – possibly my favourite show! It had been picked out on the “Gardener’s World” coverage of the show the previous night, so I just had to find it. And I’m so glad I did!

Daphne laureola

Daphne laureola

Daphne laureola is doing really well now, since I extracated it from the overreaching branches of its neighbouring Lonicera fragrantissima, when that was cut back a year or so ago. By contrast, it seems quite an understated shrub. Similar to my other winter favourite, the Sarcococca, it is a low growing, evergreen shrub with small, insignificant looking flowers. What sets it apart though, like the Sarcoccoca, is its magnificent scent – sweet and vanilla. And the clusters of small flowers, which nestle under the whorls of shiny, green leaves, are such an unusual, lime green colour – a subtle gem!

Abeliophyllum distichum

Abeliophyllum distichum

I must also include my Abeliophyllum distichum, although its flowering was short lived. It is also known as the “White forsythia”. Definitely much more subtle than its namesake, it has a similar habit, but the flowers are so much more delicate – white, flushed with pink – and scented to boot! Like Forsythia, the flowers appear on bare stems, before the leaves appear. It is best, grown supported, against a wall. Mine is growing in a large pot, supported with canes, in a sunny position. And again, minimum maintenance!

And after walking “round the estate”, I can see so many more gems just waiting to burst forth! What an exciting time of year!

6 thoughts on “Scented gems

  1. Chloris

    My Coronilla lives in a pot. I love its almost weeping habit. And as you say the fragrance is wonderful. Abeliophyllum distichum is a lovely delicate flower. Mine didn’t flower this year. But seeing that you have yours in full sun has made me think that perhaps it is a bit too shady.
    Scent is such an important feature of the spring garden.

  2. thelonggardenpath Post author

    My Abeliophyllum can be reluctant to flower too. My back garden has a tendency to be shady (as opposed to the front), due to some overhanging trees, but I have tried to place it in the sunniest spot available, next to our lovely (we’re so lucky!) brick wall. But it is supposed to tolerate shade, so it seems to do o.k. You’re so right about scent!

  3. angiesgardendiaries

    I always admire Coronilla in the GCs, complete unsuitable for my garden but maybe one day I’ll succumb and give it a go in a pot by the front door.
    The Abeliophyllum distichum is a new one on me, must give it a wee look up.

  4. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Go on, give it a go! If you can overwinter it, it should do well in a pot. It flowers over a long period and it still looks good when out of flower. It may even be worth the risk, in the ground,if you can find it a sunny, sheltered spot, with a bit of fleece protection. Good luck!

  5. Annette

    Somehow WP doesn’t show me your posts in the reader, so sorry for being late. I’ve been flirting with Coronilla for a while and as it flowers in spring the yellow flowers would be okay for me. Also it’s very mild here, maybe I’ll give it a try. It’s all about yellow at this time of year. I have Abeliophyllum too and just replanted it as it’s so boring for most of the year. The Daphne is very special – I used to have one in my Irish garden.

  6. thelonggardenpath Post author

    You don’t have to apologise – Thank you for liking my blog! This is definitely a “yellow” time of year! I know what you mean about Abeliophyllum – I may have to find it a spot in the border, somewhere.


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