PLANT OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY
#1 Sarcococca confusa a.k.a. Christmas box
A slow growing evergreen shrub, with gently arching stems, happy in shade, with glossy small leaves and sweetly scented white flowers in winter.
Why plant it?
You might forget it was even there during the rest of the year, but in midwinter, it will surprise you with a cloud of sweet scent. Put it next to a path or a shady spot by the back door, to enjoy on milder days when you venture outside.
It can be used as a replacement for box in hedges of 50cm high or more.
It grows in most soils and aspects, is hardy down to -15, and is not prone to any pests or diseases.
It will grow in a shady place, even dry shade, although it prefers moist soil.
It will tolerate pollution from car fumes.
It is good for wildlife.
It produces scented flowers in midwinter which helps bees and other pollinators survive the winter.
After the flowers, there are glossy black berries which the birds will eat.