I first notice daphne by smelling them. I remember working out in our front yard several years ago, probably around February or March. I kept getting wafts of the most delicious scent. I kept looking around my yard to see what it could possibly be. Nothing in our yard was really blooming. I asked my daughter if she could smell it too. I walked around the front yard sniffing, until I ended up in our neighbors front yard. There I saw what I thought was a very pretty looking shrub. It was evergreen and and had the sweetest flowers. I sniffed again to check that it was what I was looking for. I had no idea how far that scent could carry. I knew I had to have one in our garden. It took me a couple of years to finally find the perfect spot for one. This shrub needed to be where it could greet visitors as they arrived to our front door. It didn't bloom last year and I was so disappointed. Today I was out surveying the wet yard and what do I see? Several flower buds! I just can't wait until they open. The foliage got pretty beat up by the snow, but that's okay because those flowers will make up for that.
I was also happily surprised as I walked around to the backyard. I saw that my daphne 'Summer Ice' is also covered with flower buds. Usually it doesn't bloom until April. It has been a wonderful shrub. Summer Ice blooms off and on spring and summer and even into fall. The leaves are variegated and it stays compact. It is supposed to be tougher than daphne odora, and can take more sun. The scent isn't quite as strong, but to me it's definitely worth having on looks alone.