Scented scenes

While summer flowers bear shout-out-loud colours to attract pollinating insects, winter and early spring-bloomers need to take a different approach. Nestled among leaves and snow, the blooms rely instead on heady, sweet scent to lure in bees and other bugs. Take advantage of this asset by planting up a decorative bowl of perfumed flowers. Position it by your front door to greet guests visiting on gloomy winter days.

Step by Step container planting of Narcissus 'Bridal Crown' and Primula veris - © GAP Photos

Step by Step container planting of Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’ and Primula veris – © GAP Photos

There are numerous scented plants to choose from, such as hyacinths, dwarf narcissi, muscari and lily of the valley. Here, we’ve chosen the double-white blooms of narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’ which bear apricot-yellow splashes at each petal base. They’ll be combined with the shorter flowers of the common cowslip, Primula veris. Both blooms emit the most delicious scent.

Step by Step container planting of Narcissus 'Bridal Crown' and Primula veris - © GAP Photos

Step by Step container planting of Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’ and Primula veris – © GAP Photos

Position a few drainage crocks in the base of your pot to stabilise it, and then work in some handfuls of potting compost (there’s no need to purchase the more expensive bulb fibre as our terracotta pot has ample drainage holes). There’s no need to add any fertiliser as your plants won’t be growing much in the chilly weather.

Container consisting of Narcissus 'Bridal Crown' and Primula veris - © GAP Photos

Container consisting of Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’ and Primula veris – © GAP Photos

Carefully position your plants to create a beautiful arrangement. Tease out the roots gently and work compost into any gaps. Water the pot in well and allow it to drain. We’ve added a few extra pots of ivy and campanula to compliment the arrangement, and will deadhead any spent flowers to encourage yet more to form.