Ciscoe's favorite fragrant shrubs


by New Day Producers

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 3:00 PM

Even though things might seem kind of dreary when you peer out into the garden, there are actually several plants that look, and smell, good this time of year. Our resident gardening guru, Ciscoe Morris, is here to introduce us to a few of those fragrant plants.

We're lucky to be able to grow some wonderfully fragrant shrubs in Western Washington.

Some of the best ones include:

  • Dwarf Skimmia japonica:  Masses of green winter buds open to reveal small white wonderfully fragrant blossoms in spring Female evergreen dwarf Skimmias will produce bright red fall/winter berries if a male pollinator is present. One male is necessary for about every 5 plants. Dwarf Skimmias form a 2 to 3 ft tall mound. These plants do best in moist, well drained soil in partial shade.
  • Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis (dwarf sweet box):  Dwarf sweet box is a compact evergreen shrub with dark green leathery leaves. It spreads slowly to form an attractive 18 inch tall groundcover. The tiny, but amazingly fragrant creamy-white flowers often begin flowering in January or February, and are followed by red, purple or black berries which may persist into the following winter.This beauty must be grown in shade or it will turn an ugly shade of yellow. It needs good drainage, and once established it is very drought tolerant.
  • Daphne odora 'maejima':  Daphne the queen of the fragrant plants featuring the most intoxicating scent in the winter garden. In the past most folks planted Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata’, but the new selection 'Maejima' is just as fragrant, has attractive edged in deep yellow foliage, and it is thought to be a bit easier to grow as well. Tolerant of drought and unappetizing to deer, this winter bloomer is a glorious addition to the border or foundation. Best planted in well drained soil in morning sun.
  • A real stunner is Edgeworthia chrysantha. This Dapne relative has an architecturally pleasing look with numerous light, cinnamon colored stems. During summer, It becomes a rounded shrub with tropical looking lush foliage. The early spring blooms are a deep creamy yellow and possess a fabulous scent. They can be finicky to get established. Plant in morning sun, in rich, well drained soil. These trees are a bit tender until they're well established, so plant in spring, and cover during the first couple of winters if unusually cold temperatures are forecast.  These plants don't like to be transplanted.

You can always get more great tips for your yard or garden on Gardening with Ciscoe, which airs every Saturday morning here on KING5.

For more tips from Ciscoe, click HERE.

Ciscoe Save Me on New Day Northwest is brought to you by Bark and Garden Center in Olympia and