Crocuses...they are coming you know.Shrubs are a fundamental part of any garden, the bones and character of the average backyard, they define the space with their particular look and fragrance.

Witchhazel is a shrub with an astounding bloomtime. You can buy witchhazels which bloom in the autumn (when hardly anything else will flower), late winter, or earliest spring. A non conformist of a plant, the witchhazel presents you with a strange perfume more like fabric than a sweet bloom and it’s blooms are like streamers! They do come in a variety of colors (the dark copper blossoms are a change from the intense yellow of most of this family). Easy to grow and much to look forward to, a great choice if you have clay soil.

Also for anyone who struggles with clay soil is the viburnum. There are many many different varieties of viburnum but I like the Carlesii type for it’s charming clove and sweet fragrance and strong throw. They only bloom for a week, but what a memorable week that is. Make sure you investigate what kind of blooms it makes, though. Some of the viburnums are unscented or even have a bad scent!

Azaleas are flowers that we don’t usually think of as scented, but many varieties are. Their fragrance is delightful and I lived growing Klondike for years. I looked forward to it’s strong and beautiful flowers.

Finally, lilacs are one of the prima donna flowers in the garden. Their color range has improved greatly over the original, well, lilac color. Now there are whites, pinks, lilacs, purples, and a fabulous shade of yellow. So pretty and good smelling at the same time. Their spade shaped leaves are a treat, too.

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