Earth Sky Time

In the garden and beyond

A Plant I Loved

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Viburnum ‘Burkwoodii’ (V. carlesii x V. utile)

Viburnum ‘Burkwoodii’ is a plant I have a long history with and one I grew deeply attached to over time. It was introduced in England in 1924 as a hybrid from V. utile pollinated by V. carlesii by Burkwood and Skipwith. When I read that it, “exhibits an upright growth habit reaching 10′ in height and 6-8′ across, and flowers in early May with a spicy, almost intoxicating fragrance,” I knew it was for me.

I planted ‘Burkwoodii’ to create an understory of small trees and shrubs in my woodland garden. After only one year it flowered profusely, beginning with pink buds that turned pure white as they opened.  As the years passed, it produced great masses of scented snowballs and drew many pollinators. And it grew happily beside tall ‘President Lincoln’ and ‘Miss Ellen Willmott’ lilacs, providing magical weeks of fragrant bloom every spring.  What happened next was unexpected. I’ll tell you more in my next post.


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