Daphnes


Daphnes are highly scented and those that flower in late-spring and early summer are among the easiest to grow. If you haven’t grown a daphne before, opt for Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’. This will produce a low-growing, wide evergreen mound (roughly a metre or so each way) with green leaves edged finely in yellow. The ice-pink flowers have petals that sweep back on themselves.  

You could also grow the more compact Daphne × transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’ ('Blafra'), bred by Daphne wizard Robin White of the now defunct Blackthorn Nurseries of Hampshire in 2005. The pale-pink flowers have long darker pink tubes and they can appear between April and November, but the main flush is late-spring. It’s hardy too. Always site fragrant plants in a sheltered wind-free spot that gets warm afternoon sun, to trap the fragrance. If it snows, evergreen daphnes can get crushed and split by the weight of winter snow so make sure you clear it away quickly.  Daphnes are capricious plants and are not as long lived as many, possibly surviving an average of twenty years or less. Generally daphnes are not pruned and when their time is up they die quickly. However every garden should have at least one of these hedonistic beauties.