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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And the winner is...

There are two Viburnum plicatum shrubs in my yard. One is planted in rich soil where it gets watered often. The other is in a tough spot, more shade, more tree competition (including Black Walnuts, Juglans nigra) and no water during dry spells.

This is how the Viburnum in the tough spot looks, it's just as amazingly beautiful as the one in the great spot. We put it over the spot our two kitties Olive and Muffin are buried.

When it comes to shrubs I'm no expert. I've only been really paying attention to them for 4 or 5 years now and haven't added too many to our gardens here. Unfortunately there weren't wonderful shrubs waiting here for us, just the usual array of poorly grown yews (Taxus baccata) and one bank of Rhododendrons in front of the house.

This is Viburnum burkwoodii 'Mohawk' which I find lovely. My only complaint might be that the catalog listed it as "more compact than burwoodii" and it is currently towering over 7 feet tall.

Here's a close up of those lovely blooms. This photo was taken last year on June 1st so I have a bit of a wait before I get to see this sight again.

Viburnum dilatum 'Erie' is the winner when it comes to shrub shape. It truly is compact, short and wide, perfect in the semi shade border.

When looking for these shrubs I considered light requirements, soil requirements (we have naturally acidic soil), blooms and highly important was berries to feed the wildlife. While I can't say I've seen enough berries to invite whole flocks of birds, I can say that I'm very happy with the choices I've made.

For those of you who were thinking that my title alluded to the local elections here, I'll just add this, apparently, like my Viburnums, I'm a winner.


Kim said...

Congratulations!! You'll be a success as you are with everything you do. Though you may be too busy to blog now:)

Frances, said...

Yahoo! I knew it when you had that title. Many congrats and very deserving. They are lucky to have you. Your viburnums are wonderful. After having killed many rhodies under the walnut tree, we switched to osmanthus and spireas. We will keep an eye out for a smallish viburnum. Last year we planted blue muffin, cardinal candy, winterthur and brandywine for a berry feast for the birds. They shrubs were mail ordered, arrived as small sticks with leaves and are doing well. Hope we get some berries too. Again, hooray for you!

Gail said...

I am so pleased for you, Melanie! You are going to do a great job and your community will be glad they made the right choice!

And thank you for a wonderful inspiration. I can plant could I not know that when I love V Rufidulum so much!
They can help fill out the BIG empty spot in the Blimp Bed!

Again thanks and You so rock!

Anna said...

Good thing you already rock at working in composted manure---that experience is going to bode you well;) It will also be rewarding for you to make things grow under difficult circumstances. You'll find a way to do it slow and steady.

Congrats to you and your viburnums. You both shine.

Meems said...

Melanie, I just love reading your posts... always so informative and detailed. Even though I don't know what most of the plants are that thrive in your lovely garden I sure do like to hear about them. Your viburnums are really lovely in bloom.

It seems to me Florida does count on viburnum for the way they grow extremely fast as hedges... I don't have any for that reason (grow too fas--and they require constant trimming) but some folks really depend on them... not sure the variety we can grow-- certainly not like anything I've seen on the northern blogs. If placed correctly ours have an insignicant white bloom.

Congratulations on your election... Your community will benefit from all your energy and hard work.
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

Melanie said...

Thanks Kim, I'm going to try to find time to keep blogging (and of course, gardening!)

Frances, thank you, I've seen that Viburnum 'Blue Muffin' for sale here and really would love to try it.

Gail, glad the Viburnums would work for you, I need to try more of them here too. Thanks for the nice words!

Anna, yup, I'm a good manure shoveler :-) Thanks!

Hi Meems, thanks so much, I love to look at your blog and other Floridian blogs but like you, I see so many things that I can't grow here. When I visit my mom in Delray Beach we love to just walk and walk and see other people's gardens.