Looking out of my patio doors early this morning I was greeted by the gentle falling of snow flakes, which was welcome, as it covered the soggy lawn with a coating of glistening icing. The dog adored it and it wasn't long before her tiny Shih Tzu paws left marks of little trails all across the snow. I don't mind days like this, but it's the barren garden I hate, which until I sought out a few things to brighten the borders, used to look dead and depressing.
I purchased some years ago now a plant with a long name Viburnum Bodnantense and the variety was called Dawn. Now I am not really an avid gardener, I used to be before getting M.E and now can't do heavy work, but I really enjoy colour and especially at this time of year. It was with this in mind that I planted this shrub, as I researched it at the time and found that it flowered in January, and was known for producing really pretty pink flowers in abundance.
I planted it in a corner which is between a north facing and a west facing wall, and really left it to its own devices. I don't go in for all this pruning as I prefer a wild garden. I haven't fed it, watered it, or looked after it at all, but it has been a beauty.
It produces the most beautiful deep pink flowers to start with. Depending on the season it may even be in flower at Christmas, but it is certainly in full bloom now and will go on to March (though the flowers do fade a little to a pastel pink with white by the start of spring.) The flowers are not just individual ones either; they are large clusters of blooms, very tightly packed together, which I can enjoy from the house which is some 20 ft away. The flowers form on bare stems as the leaves all fall in the autumn.
The best thing though is the scent- it is so fragrant you can enjoy it from quite a distance, the other day I hung out some towels to dry a little on a windy day, and could smell it from the washing line, which is several feet away. The smell is like almonds and is beautiful.
The bush itself has not grown out of control and it is about 8 ft tall, with a slightly smaller spread along the fence.
Together with some winter aconites and snowdrops, and some early daffodils and a winter flowering jasmine, these flowers are testament to the fact that you do not have to have a bare garden in the winter. Mine is white/yellow and pink and it looks really colourful even on the most miserable of days.
You can buy Viburnum Bodnantense in many garden centres and I saw it also at
www.thompsonandmorgan.com for £13.49.
With a little care and planning you can actually see some colour in the garden all year round. When I see this in flower I know that winter is coming to a close and it has an uplifting effect. The great tits I have in my garden use it as a resting place from which to enter and leave the bird box I have on an adjacent tree, and this adds to the lovely view as soon they will be raising a family once again.
With confetti like petals and an almond scent this winter plant is a doddle to grow.
This review is also published on Ciao having been slightly adapted. It is under my user name there of Violet1278.