Winter Winner: Viburnum Spring Dawn

Viburnum (spring dawn) dec. cu - no leafs
photo by SVSeekins

Just when it seems all the trees are bare & the skies will be permanently grey, these small pink flower clusters catch my attention & bring on a smile.

They even offer a sweet scent!   For these 2 reasons alone the Viburnum Pink Dawn wins prime Real Estate at the edge of the shrub border of our short driveway.

Forsythia & Viburnum bodnantense in sept.
photo by SVSeekins

Right through to late summer it’s just another green shrub earning space in the garden by working as a privacy screen.   As there’s so much else urging me to explore the garden this shrub blends into the background.

fall color - forsythia (ctr.) and viburnum bodnantense (far left)
photo by SVSeekins

Through autumn its green leaves take on a coppery tinge offering seasonal interest.  Like many other deciduous shrubs in our garden, that’s nice, and counts as another reason to keep it around.

Viburnum Pink Dawn in December
photo by SVSeekins

But in winter, especially at Christmas, when we come & go between the dry vehicle & the warm house, we hardly enter the garden at all.  At the driveway’s edge Viburnum bodnantense gets all the attention & appreciation.  The rest of the garden is pretty much ignored.

It will hold its own for several more months, sharing the spotlight with a sequence of spring bulbs: the early snowdrops in January, the crocus in February, and daffodils in March.

What a winning strategy.  I’m not likely to question its value to the garden or reconsider its highly visibil position near the driveway.

The first time I noticed one of these winter flowering treasures was when I moved to the property on Cedar Hill. (I’m sure the shrub is still there today)

  • It had maxed out at 10 feet tall.
  • In the summer I enjoyed the privacy it gave us as we sipped wine under the front porch.
  • In the rainy winter I held off the blues with its promises of spring.
  • Birds nested in it, even though it was right beside the house.
  • The deer left it alone.
  • It grew slowly, so required very little maintenance.

It was definitely a keeper.   Even the Royal Horticultural Society in Britain had given it their Award of Garden Excellence.

When we started our search for a new property, it was right near the top of our ‘want’ list for the new garden.   I tried taking cuttings several times with no success.

After we moved to our new home with no viburnum, D.Smart gave us one as a house-warming gift.  What a wonderful way to start a Friendship Garden.


© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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