Recently a friend in Olinda explained how she’d chosen lots of winter-blooming shrubs as her first plantings in her now-impressive and beautiful garden around a classic `hills’ home, including fragrant Daphne; apple blossom-pink Viburnum farreri; bright lemon, perfumed Mahonia; buttery Rhododendron lutescens (below left); gold witch hazel; and cream, well-named Wintersweet (below right) with its dull-coloured flowers that powerfully exude a sweet fragrance unlike any other. (I have a poor sense of smell but wintersweet is up there with Gardenias and Daphne.) This wintersweet is a good form with deep yellow flowers; conversely this rhododendron has forms, sometimes, with blooms of gold.
Blue flowers and yellow make a pretty pairing. I walked outside today to find dwarf Iris reticulata `Alida’ flowering: delicious, deep china blue with deep amber and white markings; barely 13cm high. I’ve moved it near the lemon hoop petticoat daffodils of which I’ve 3 just now: all a little different, one quite short, all sweet.
It’s odd, I tend towards mauve, purple, blue and some pink in the garden; but these yellow flowers are incredibly cheering on the short cold days.