Plants left to right: Edgeworthia crysantha; Daphne
Plants which are at their best in the greyest months of the year always have a special place in the garden. Given there are so few pollinating insects at this time of year, they need to work extra hard to attract them, so they are often beautifully scented.
Tom Coward, Head Gardener at Gravetye Manor in Sussex, tries to concentrate the hotel’s winter interest plantings around doorways and driveways, so that whatever the weather, they can still be enjoyed. Edgeworthia crysantha is one of his favourites, with cheerful yellow flowers that have a heady scent of cloves. Another favourite is Daphne which is planted just outside the hotel’s main entrance, and the scent wafting into the building on a sunny day lifts the spirits like nothing else.