Honeysuckle (lonicera x purpusii)
This little known honeysuckle - also known as shrubby honeysuckle - originates from China and is strong-growing, hardy and easy to look after. It makes no strong demands on the earth and grows in any normal garden soil. Regular pruning is not required, either. Honeysuckle is particularly characterised by the fact that it flowers early in the winter and has a rich scent. Another positive feature is its good flowering capacity. The flowers, which are approx. 1.5 cm long, have a yellowy to creamy-white colour and remain on the plant between December and March. In the summer, the flowers form red fruits. This bush is evergreen if is located in a particularly suitable position or in milder regions, which means that its leaves don't fall off until late into the winter. As honeysuckle only grows to a height of about two metres, it also suits small gardens really well. It can be planted in groups or individually. We recommend planting this bush in a prominent position in the garden because it is nice to look at and has a wonderful scent. If its branches are cut and placed in a vase with water, they will keep for a few days and give off their scent.
Wintersweet (chimonanthus praecox)
Bad weather, snow, and cold temperatures do not prevent the wintersweet from gracing us with its beautiful flowers and pleasant scent during winter. It is frost-hardy up to a temperature of -28°C and prefers fertile and porous soil. The flowers are approx. 2.5 cm long, a creamy yellow colour and have a red eye in the centre. They can start to flower in December, but the main flowering season is in February and March. The leaves appear after the flowers and turn a white to yellow colour in the autumn. Since it has flowered rather sparingly in recent years and is somewhat more delicate, it should be planted in a protected and sunny location. Once wintersweet has settled in and become established, it is a fantastic winter flowering shrub which can grow to a height of 3 to 4 metres. It should be pruned very carefully, as wintersweet flowers on wood which is only two years old. The pleasant scent of its flowers can also be enjoyed indoors as its branches can easily be kept in a vase for a few days. This winter flowering shrub is endemic to China and unfortunately is largely unknown in Germany.
White forsythia (abelyophyllum distichum)
White forsythia does not belong, as the name suggests, to the forsythia family. Its namesake blooms in the spring and has different flowers. Whilst the forsythia which flowers in late spring has yellow flowers, the white forsythia has beautiful white or delicate pink star-shaped flowers. This winter flowering plant is a genuine rarity. The 1.5 cm long flowers appear between January and April and may have white flowers one year and pink the next. It is thought that this is due to the differing absorption of trace elements or other active substances in the soil. White forsythia can grow to a height of 2 metres in a protected, sunny position and is ideal for smaller gardens. In a favourable location it is really easy to look after and extremely hardy. Even when cut and put in a vase, this elegant plant can be enjoyed indoor for several days. This handsome shrub originates from Korea.
Vibernum (viburnum farreri)
Viburnum is a beautiful winter flowering plant which is characterised by its fabulous scent. All shrubs of this genus remain attractive throughout the year. The flowers of the vibernum are particularly pretty and are shown to especially good advantage on bare branches in the middle of winter. The striking, mostly white but occasionally pink-tinged blooms sometimes appear in November although the main flowering season is from February to April. When the plant is budding and in autumn, the leaves take on a stunning shade of red. This dense, upright shrub can grow to a height of 3 or 4 metres. Since it likes warmth, it prefers to be in a sunny position or in partial shade. Also, it prefers slightly acidic soil which is not too dry. However, overall this plant is fairly uncomplicated and frost-resistant. Unfortunately, the pleasant smelling flowering branches are not suited to being put vases as they lose their flowers very quickly. Verbenas, which are endemic to North China, are shown to their best advantage when free-standing. They also go nicely in aromatic gardens.
Every single gardening enthusiast is bound to find their own favourite among this selection of the prettiest and best-smelling flowering shrubs. And if you haven't got any of these beautiful shrubs in your garden yet, it's well worth thinking about getting one. It will undoubtedly bring some pleasure to your wintry garden!