Garden Shop Plant Hunter
Three fragrant osmanthus chosen by plant hunter Lark Hanham
Osmanthus is a handsome but small genus of 15 or so known varieties. The plants are admired for their evergreen foliage and their delicious, heady scent. In the UK we tend to only focus on the spring-flowering varieties, but you can extend the season by choosing varieties that flower in autumn and winter. Although the majority of Osmanthus tend to grow quite large, they can be pruned to required size.
They prefer semi-shade and fertile soils and are an ideal plant to give all-year-round structure to a large shrub border. Hardy to -15C.
Average height 8ft (2.5m) and spread 10ft (3m).
A choice variety in situations that call for a neater habit. The leathery glossy evergreen leaves stand proud on stems and appear in attractive angles on arching branches. In March and April, flowers smother the stems and the fragrance is sweet and alluring.
O. x burkwoodii AGM
A fabulous specimen to use for an ornamental fragrant hedge as its habit is dense and tightly packed. It’s also a better subject to prune as its smaller leaves allow more definition. During April and May the frame is covered in brilliant white fragrant blooms.
The flowers on this autumn-flowering specimen sparkle through September and October, filling the air with sweet notes of vanilla and jasmine. In spring the new growth appears red before it transforms to green and has fine serration to the edges.
How to buy
Buy one for £9.99, the mix of three (one of each) for £19.98, or the mix of six (two of each) for only £29.97. Plus p&p £4.95. Supplied as 9cm pots in 14 days. Order at gardenshop.telegraph.co.uk/osman or call 0333 772 0325. Contract for supply of goods is with Hayloft Plants Ltd. Offers subject to availability. Offer closing date December 5, 2016. Call 0333 772 0325 or visit gardenshop. telegraph.co.uk