Ask an Expert: I am interested in adding shrubs to my landscape that offer winter interest as well as fragrance. Do you have any suggestions?
“Yes, there are quite a few to choose from. Sweet box (Sarcococca ruscifolia) is a smaller (six- to nine-foot) evergreen shrub that thrives in the shade. Its subtle but very fragrant blooms emerge in late winter; to make the most of the lovely scent, place one or more near a doorway. If your planting area is lightly shaded with moist soil, a paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) might be just the thing. It is a deciduous beauty that reaches six to 12 feet tall, giving year-round interest with silvery flower buds that are revealed after the leaves are shed. The branches can be brought inside and “forced” into early bloom. Another favorite—a little more temperamental but worth the effort—is the light-shade-loving Daphne ‘Maejima’ (Daphne odora ‘Maejima’; shown above). It has extremely fragrant pink blooms that nestle amidst variegated evergreen foliage. Make sure that the soil is well draining and that there is plenty of air flow.”
Want more rosemary? Crushing on a special, non-hardy salvia? Late summer to early fall is the time to take cuttings of herbs and annuals to propagate this winter. They’ll be ready to move into the garden before retailers even have all their springtime plants on the shelves.
Dig It - What’s happening this month?
MUSC Urban Farm Volunteering
Earn some fresh produce—plus gardening skills—while lending a hand at the MUSC Urban Farm. Work and Learn events are held on Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m. Start your Wednesdays with Morning Maintenance at 7:30 a.m., and on the first and third Saturdays of the month, bring the whole family to help out from 9 to 11 a.m. MUSC Urban Farm, 29 ½ Bee St. Days & times vary. Free. www.musc.edu/ohp/urban-farm
Charleston Area Beekeepers Association Meeting
Find out what the buzz is all about by paying a visit to the Charleston Area Beekeepers’ bimonthly meeting—guests are welcome. You’ll learn from beekeepers, researchers, hobbyists, and other folks promoting the benefits of these essential insects. Dixie Plantation Rd., Hollywood. Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon. Free; $35 annual membership. www.sites.google.com/site/charlestonareabeekeepers/home
North Charleston Fall Plant Swap
Share your bounty—from indoor plants to perennial passalongs like hostas and daylilies—with fellow gardeners, and stock up on new goodies of your own at this second-annual swap. Garden-related items, such as tools and containers, are fair game, too! Afterward, talk shop during a potluck picnic, bringing your own drinks and a covered dish. Park Circle green (near playground), North Charleston. Saturday, 11 a.m. swap. Free. www.facebook.com/northcharlestonplantswap