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Gardeners Notebook July

25 June 2024

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From a Gardeners Notebook , July 2024

In earlier articles I have told you when and how to prune shrubs, but this month I am going to tell you about a particular shrub group: the Viburnums.

You will certainly have seen this species, and may not have realised it, in the grounds of your school, outside the library, the petrol station or along our highways. 

There are approximately 150 varieties of  virburnum – evergreen – decidious – with beautiful flowers, some perfumed, some not.  These shrubs are most useful to flower arrangers – viburnum tinus always provides a little something in winter to grace a small vase.  The early stages of blooms as well as the berries also are most useful in floral art.

I shall tell you of three of this group, but why not use your garden encyclopedia to look at those shrubs used for municipal planting as well as enhancing our own gardens.  In the foliage industry they are a popular choice for farming as a crop.

Viburnum Carlesii:  The beautiful, heady perfume of this plant is what draws us to it.  This variety is decidious and very hardy.  If you ever drive through Brettenham there are some extremely old examples, with trunks more like trees than shrubs.

Viburnum Plicatum Mariesii: - Also known as the japanese snowball bush.  This a particular favourite of mine.  It has distinctly layered, tiered branches – like a thousand arms.  The flowers are white and very beautiful.  Only limited fruits form.  When planted in a right-angle it enhances its form.  The shrubs will grow to about 10 to 12ft.  Don’t be afraid to shape or thin it out in March.

Lastly – Virburnum Dentatum – You are likely to see this particular species if  visiting North America.  Again decidious, with beautiful colour to the leaves in autumn, which are ovate and coarsely toothed.  The flowers are tubular in shape.  Blue-black berries follow the blooms.

Rember, what I always say – “ Happy to help – happy to answer your questions”.    

Mary 01284 788118