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Great Plants this Month

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’

Gold-edged winter daphne

image of Louise Sims
Louise Sims

This year our lovely daphne is coming into flower at least two weeks later than usual which is hardly surprising given the number of frosts we’ve had so far this winter. ‘Aureomarginata’ is a neat evergreen shrub with shiny, gold-edged leaves, and is probably best grown in dappled shade. 

It will reach 1-1.5 metres but let no one tell you that this Daphne is slow growing, for when I referred to my trusty garden diary, I saw that I bought ours five years ago as a tiny scrap of a thing in the sale corner of our local garden centre. It’s already a metre high. As always, you will read conflicting advice on the topic of soil and aspect, but it seems to be happiest in soil that is slow to dry out and very slightly acidic.

I know I’m asking a lot of ours because it receives very little sun and there is not a whiff of acidity in our soil, but I did plant it by the path leading to our back door, so I got that part right! There is no point in winter-scented plants being inaccessible, they need to be placed where you will enjoy them. This one needs very little maintenance and is an easier daphne to grow than many of the others.

I was starting to feel rather smug and happy to see the gorgeous clusters of pink and purple flowers on my shrub, when earlier this week I happened to drop in on middle growbag Laura. As I walked to her front door, I was stopped in my tracks by the most arresting specimen of Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’. This is a much more upright and much taller shrub than ‘Aureomarginata’, quite different in habit, but it does hold the coveted award of garden merit from the RHS.

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

More NB If you’re not already a subscriber and you’d like a bit more gardening chitchat from the3growbags, please type your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning.


By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

4 replies on “Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’”

Lat year I followed your advice and pruned my Rosa Rugosa. What a difference it made, lots more flowers and bigger hips. I shall do the same this year.
Managed one day out weeding and I loved my new razor hoe, that pointy bit is so useful. Think I might need that handy wee saw thingy next.
Just bought and planted a daphne, love winter flowering plants and I’m told the deer won’t eat it, a double bonus.

Helen, Caroline here, so pleased that Elaine’s pruning tips delivered for you – let’s hope the rest of her advice is as effective! Yes the razor hoe is absolutely amazing isn’t it? Without wanting to sound too cheesy, it has changed weeding from a chore into a very satisfying pleasure for me.
I haven’t tried the pruning saw personally, but Elaine uses hers all the time. If daphnes really are deer resistant I clearly need to invest. The deer population here in Scotland is doubling faster than any rabbit colony did! I hope it’s a gorgeous day with you too, today, very best wishes to you Helen XX

My husband, suffering from dementia at the time, hard pruned our Daphne. It has taken me three years to get it back to a reasonable shape but it is flowering away very happily with the hellebores for company, in clay soil and sunshine (at least today!) until the leaves appear on the trees behind it.

That’s so good to hear Janet. It’s possible that Daphnes’ reputation as being slow growers might also make us think they’re a bit fragile. It sounds as if neither really apply! The fortunes of a plant often chart our family life don’t they, remind us of friends, or particular storms or gardening mishaps. Riches beyond price. kindest regards to you X

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