As you walk up our drive a strong, sweet scent wafts by. It is quite surprising to find it comes from this ground covering Leucospernum. I have always called it L. prostratum but this particular plant was sold as L.heterophyllum. I have no idea which is correct. The flowers change colour as they age from yellow to orange so that the plant is always covered in multi coloured flowers. I’ve found it a bit temperamental but this one is looking happy.
I was in Christchurch recently for a family event and saw this plant – well I smelled it first. It is Skimmia japonica, a very attractive shrub with these fragrant flowers and handsome foliage. Sounds as though it might grow in the north so I will try some cuttings. I have never seen it for sale up here. This plant might have bright red berries in the autumn. Although some skimmias are hermaphrodite others are dioecious – separate male and female – and need both present to set berries.