It seems almost indecent that one plant should be in possession of so many ’C’s’. Greedy. Especially in one that is, frankly, pretty dreary for much of the year.
Glossy green leaves and slightly claret tinged stems notwithstanding, it is a shrub whose presence can remain unnoticed for at least 330 days (331 if it is a leap year). You could walk past it without even registering its existence: I know this for a fact as there is one just outside my office with which I exchange neither word nor glance for much of the year.
And then, in the depths of winter, something happens. It flowers, unobtrusive little whiteishflowers, and when that happens they release a scent unlike any other. Peppery yet sweet, crisp yet juicy it carries a long way in the thin winter air. It is as if a soaring treble voice has suddenly emerged from a nondescript crowd of milling buffalo. Remarkable. Good Things: Plant it close to doors or paths, no point in putting it away in parts of the garden that are only visited in the summer. Bad Things: As I said, a bit dull for much of the time. Keep it out of very cold and drying winds.