HTA Plant of the Month for December

Ending the HTA Plant of the Month campaign in style is Sarcococca, a great addition to the winter garden.

Commonly known as ?sweet box? or ?Christmas box?, the evergreen shrub is very sweetly scented with an aroma of vanilla essence. Its fragrant white flowers decorate the garden over winter and early spring, followed by red and black berries.

While boasting scent and beauty, Sarcococca is also tough, reliable and easy to grow. Perfect for a shady border and containers or as ground cover, it grows slowly to form low-growing mounds of evergreen foliage.

A top tip for the season from the HTA is to cut shoots and bring them inside to add to flower arrangements at Christmas time.

Recommended RHS AGM varieties include: Sarcococca confusa, Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ?Purple Stem?, Sarcococca hookeriana var. hookeriana ?Ghorepani?, and Sarcococca ruscifolia var. chinensis ?Dragon Gate? Woody.

Those looking for companion plants to complement in the garden are recommended to try: Cornus ?Midwinter Fire?, Acer griseum, winter flowing pansies and Cyclamen coum.

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