We are not short of natural flower displays in the garden right now.
The popular winter shrubs are blooming freely and it’s clear that a Viburnum tinus ‘Variegatum’ is going to be a future attraction, given its hardiness.
Imbibing the fragrance of lowly sarcococca (Christmas box) is a knee-bending exercise, but once down there it’s so rewarding.
Strap-like clusters of yellow hamamelis (witch hazel) flowers also demand a close encounter to inspect their delicate fragrance.
But that’s not necessary with the mahonia, which permeates the garden air.
Relatively open weather has encouraged an early show of colour from groups of polyanthus whose main display comes with spring, but it’s the hardy regulars that are catching the eye.
There are patches of yellow winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) and tiny Cyclamen coum whose flowers vary through white, pink and red.
And how dull life would be without these winter heathers, groups of Erica carnea in white, pink and purple spread throughout the garden, and they’ll keep flowering well into March.