Sarcococca confusa AGM – Winter Flowering Hedges

There is undoubtedly something special about enjoying the summer pleasures of a scented, floral display in the depths of winter. And while there is no point to a tasteless, January strawberry, the flowers of Sarcococca confusa AGM are exactly as nature intended…

Sarcococca confusa AGM – Winter Flowering Hedges

Hedging is primarily grown for its foliage and I cannot think of any successful hedging plant that fails in this department. Certainly not Sarcococca confusa AGM – its attractive, dark green leaves are long, elegant and glossy. And they grow densely enough to be trimmed into a handsome, formal hedge if you are looking for something more stately than their usual role as ground cover or a specimen plant. But it’s the flowers we really want to talk about…

Although small, the creamy-white flowers are abundant from December through to March and have a wonderful sweet perfume that immediately transport you to summer. It’s a pleasurably counter-intuitive experience that, really, any garden can provide. And when the flowers are gone, you can enjoy the glossy black berries.

Few plants that offer so much, require so little in return. For those of you old enough to remember, it’s what you might call a Martini plant – anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Remarkably resilient to pests, diseases and urban pollution, all it asks for is a little shelter, water when it’s exceptionally dry and…actually, that’s just about it.

Sarcococca confusa AGM – or Sweet Box – really is a must-have. In our next post, we’ll look at its close relative, Sarcococca ruscifolia…

Reported in The daily Telegraph:
“Of the many fragrant, winter-flowering plants at RHS Wisley, Matthew Pottage, deputy curator, particularly values sarcococca – its small, white flowers have a wonderful sweet scent. These evergreen shrubs are also useful for shade, even dry shade; are tolerant of clipping and shaping; and flower reliably each year”