Apart from the lovely Clematis Cirrhosa ‘Freckles’, and Winter Jasmine there are few winter flowers to remind us that there will be an end to chilly temperatures and pitch black by five pm. One shrub does stand out however and that is the lovely Eve Price, a named variety of Viburnum tinus. Viburnums are a backbone plant in any garden being easy to grow, often evergreen or semi-evergreen and all having pale pink or white flowers that are often scented. Eve Price is no exception to this general description. Unfussy as to soil pH and unaffected by heavy clay soils, her leaves are a good, dark green colour and are medium sized and oval in shape; crucially they last all winter. But her speciality is winter flowering. Blooms appear in a flattened cluster of tiny individual white-light stars that emerge from a pink bud continuously from November through to April. She will withstand wind, rain and even some shade and grows to two metres easily, although you can clip the plant back after flowering to restrain her exuberance. Use Eve Price to under-plant taller, deciduous trees or as a low hedge or backdrop to a border. Wherever you decide, it is good to bear in mind that while a sunny position encourages more flowers, exposure to sharp frost will cause the flowers to go brown so if you can find a sheltered spot all the better. In spring the bonus is a flourish of metallic blue berries that the birds love and that look unusual and attractive.
Draw attention to Eve Price by surrounding her with spring flowering bulbs that coincide with her flowers like snowdrops, or tulips that may emerge later but whose stunning colours look good against the dark evergreen foliage. Hellebores are another excellent winter companion flower and their maroony, dusky pink and white colours go beautifully contemporaneously. Unlike most of our winter offering Eve Price is a potted plant and so can be purchased all year round.