Garden highlights: January blooms

Frost on an urn in the garden at Killerton.

Find out what plants are brightening up the garden and grounds this month.

Winter wonders

Few plants flower in winter compared to other seasons. Come January, the floral display offered by plants starts to increase. One plant that starts to come into its own at this time of year is Sarcococca confusa. The small white flowers of this shrub, tolerant of any position, release a lovely sweet scent that carries on the winter sun.

A flash of white in the winter.
Sarcococca confusa in the garden.

Another is Hamamelis japonica 'Zuccariniana' which starts to flower in January through into February. This yellow Witch Hazel has strongly scented flowers and requires a generally sunny position.

Strongly scented flowers brightening up January.
Zuccariniana growing in the garden.

Many different Camellia in the garden are starting to flower. Whilst the majority of C. japonica and C. x williamsii will flower slightly later, many other species and their cultivars such as C. sasanqua, C. cuspidata and C. saluensis are in full bloom now. Camellia require an acid soil and do better protected from the morning sunlight which can scorch flowers covered in dew.

Delicate colour in January.
Camellia growing in the garden.

January is a time of year to appreciate the majesty of towering trees and infinite structures created by mature and veteran deciduous trees such as Fagus sylvatica, better known as common Beech.

Towering tree tops.
Beech tress with no leaves.

If you can't identify a certain plant or have a question, you can contact the gardeners directly via email at


Fancy getting your hands dirty?

Would you like to get involved? Would you like to learn new skills, meet new people and help look after this special place?

We are always interested to hear from people you would like to volunteer with us. If you would like to join our group of volunteers that help us maintain these beautiful grounds, please contact Emma Wakeham (Volunteer Development Manager) on 01392 883145 or at