Friday, 13 January 2017

Plant of the Month

Good Morning!
I hope you have all enjoyed the festivities over the past few weeks and are embracing the New Year!
The garden always seems to give a renewed enthusiasm at this time of year (well in my case at least) as you can finally start looking towards to the growing year ahead! After taking a back seat in regards to the garden over the past month or so I'm hoping to get back into the groove whenever I have a spare hour to two.

Today I thought I'd start us all off by bringing back the PLANT OF THE MONTH feature.
The PLANT OF THE MONTH that I've chosen for January is ... 
Sarcococca confusa also known as 'Sweet Box'
Photo from crocus

Sarcococca confusa is a Hardy Evergreen Shrub which throughout most of the year tends to provide structure more than interest with it's simple green, glossy leaves. However don't let this put you off, it really does come into it's own at this time of year and thoroughly earns it's self a place in any garden!

This particular shrub can grow up to 2m with an equal width, do be aware it can take between 5 and 10 years to do so.
However it is also one of those plants that is perfectly happy in either partial or full shade which can be problem areas in our gardens for some people, this gains it even more brownie points in my opinion!
This plant is also ideal in low maintenance gardens for those that don't always have the time to garden.

At this time of year it's stand out feature is it's perfume! Trust me when I say that you can smell it from a couple of metres away, maybe more so if there's a slight breeze. The sweet scent comes from it's tiny white flowers which can only really be seen when you're close up. These flowers are followed by glossy black berries which can remain on the plant until the following winter. The flowering period spans from December to March so your guaranteed more than just a fleeting display!

Photos from my garden

As mentioned earlier this Hardy Evergreen Shrub is happy to be planted in either partial or full shade. It can be situated facing any aspect but would prefer a slightly sheltered position in any soil type that is moist but well-drained. In Winter or Spring you can gently prune the shrub to keep it in an ideal shape and then mulch around the base with well-rotted compost.
If you'd like to produce extra plants for yourself it can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings in late Summer or by seed sown in outdoor containers in Spring or Autumn.

Generally pest and disease free.