These small tassel-like flowers, on a glossily evergreen shrub, pump out a sweet perfume – over-rich when planted in quantity and to be used sparingly if brought into the home – an undemanding plant for a shady corner, in most soils (including the more difficult drier spots) and prepare to be caught by surprise by the scent next winter.
(below) Viburnum x bodnantense Dawn
Bare stems and pink clusters of waxy flowers on a medium-to large shrub – first raised in 1933 at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, and then 1935 at Bodnant Garden. ‘Dawn’ is the first-named form of the cross and for many people the most beautiful. The highly scented, rose-tinted flowers darken with age. Another cross, and one I saw on Battleston Hill, is Viburnum x bodnantense Deben. Sweetly scented flowers are pink in bud, opening white during mild spells from mid-autumn to mid-spring. ‘Charles Lamont’ is a form with pure pink flowers.
Below, is the original cross, Viburnum x bodnantense, flowering at Kew earlier this week.
Lonicera standishii – intensely fragrant little flowers in a ‘Meet the Parents’ moment.
No shirker, in its own right, and introduced in 1845 by Robert Fortune, no less, but in its marriage with Lonicera fragrantissima, produced an outstanding prodigy in Lonicera x purpusii, which surpasses either parent, being free-flowering and vigorous. A single flower of the form ‘Winter Beauty’ on the benches at Syon today was enough to cause Great Swooning and Gasps of Admiration!
I know there is at least one very lovely specimen of L x purpusii elsewhere at Wisley but it was good to meet one of the proud parents on Battleston Hill.