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Fragrance in the garden

On Christmas Day, while snow was falling, I took a walk with Bianca and Lena and Jeff up to the Rose Gardens. We walked under a rose arch where several small pink roses, encased in ice, were hanging, and an empty nest, silvered by snow, sat neatly exposed inside the canes. Nearby stood a Viburnum fragrans (I think). Beverley Nichols recommends it for the winter garden in Garden Open Today, though unwilling to say in which month it will bloom. It was blooming in the snow, and when I put my face close to its waxy, pinkish white blossoms, I could smell sweetness through a skin of ice.

Nichols has some interesting things to say about fragrance in the garden, which I have never seen anywhere else. For me that is always the best thing about British garden writers - I always want to rush outside and plant whatever they recommend.

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