Plant a Fragrant Winter Container Garden

Grow a beautifully scented winter container garden with these ideas.
Winter Container with Colorful and Scented Plants

Winter Container with Colorful and Scented Plants

An attractive container display provides cheerful color and a delicious spicy scent on winter days.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

An attractive container display provides cheerful color and a delicious spicy scent on winter days.

This attractive display provides colorful winter cheer and a delicious spicy scent, which comes from the Sarcococca confusa, a neat evergreen shrub with little white blooms. While not particularly showy, they scent the air for several weeks. Flower and foliage color is provided by winter pansies (Viola), a variegated standard Euonymus, and ivy (Hedera) to soften the rim of the barrel. You could also add primroses (Primula vulgaris), which flower into spring.

Container Basics

Size: Approx. 24-inch diameter wooden half-barrel

Suits: Winter bedding and evergreen shrubs

Potting mix: Multipurpose with added compost

Site: Sunny, sheltered spot by a doorway

Shopping List

  • Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ 
  • Yellow winter pansies 
  • Pale yellow winter pansies 
  • Sarcococca confusa 
  • Euonymus fortunei Blondy 
  • Primula vulgaris ‘Double Sulphur’

Planting and Aftercare

Place crocks at the bottom of the barrel and fill three-quarters full with potting mix. Arrange the plants with the Euonymus in  the middle, underplanted with the Sarcococca, the ivies over the edges of the barrel, and the pansies and primroses in between. Fill in around the plants with  potting mix. Water well and keep moist. Position the container where the perfume of the Sarcococca will be enjoyed. Remove faded blooms as the season progresses, and any plain green shoots on the Euonymus. In summer, replace the bedding with summer flowers, such as busy Lizzies or begonias.