Garden Blog - Blog Post

Sarcococca Berries


Last year, I planted a Christmas Box or Sweet Box – also known as Sarcococca Confusa – in the front garden to have something to sniff on the way out. It’s a some-what slow-growing shrub and a year later, it isn’t that much bigger than when it went in. There is activity though, as stepping out the door one morning I spotted it bejewelled with glistening burgundy berries.

Sarcococca Berries

I am a bit confused as to the timing though, since it definitely flowered last winter, but the berries have only appeared now – that’s quite a long delay and I don’t know if that’s normal or not. I hope it will still flower this winter because I want to smell the out-of-this-world sweet fragrance the tiny white flowers produce. It can be so strong that on a still day, you don’t have to be anywhere near the plant to get a whiff of it.

As I love trying to grow things from seed, I’m going to collect many of these berries, take the single seed out of each one and try growing them. I don’t know what conditions they need for germination so there’s going to be some internet and book research required. I love this plant so much I want to get a whole seed try going. The only trouble will be finding room in one of the greenhouses.

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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gardeninacity 19/12/2012 - 8:42 pm

Never heard of this plant, but sounds fabulous. The berries are beautiful.

Sunil 27/12/2012 - 7:45 pm

Hi Jason, it’s not terribly well known (the name doesn’t help) but its small tassel flowers give the most fantastically sweet perfume and its very welcome in winter. It’s evergreen, grows slowly and in shade so there should be a spot for it in every garden. It really comes into its own in winter when most other plants are dormant.

Claire 28/12/2012 - 5:38 pm

Interesting as I found one of these on sale today and am agonising about whether I can afford to blow out more on plants after Christmas. It looks great but I’m slightly disappointed that it’s slow growing as I had visions of it filling out an empty corner. I’ll mull it over some more but knowing me I’ll cave in!

Sunil 28/12/2012 - 9:17 pm

Hi Claire, I think they’re definitely worth having but they will take a long time to fill out any empty space so be warned. While I can tell that ours has grown over the year it’s been in, it’s still not that much bigger than when it went in the ground.


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