On a recent walk through the nursery in the last post, we highlighted leucothoe, oak leaf hydrangeas, Osmanthus fragrans, the sweet tea olive, and Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’.
We continue our tour of durable southern shrubs and vines with Viburnum burkwoodii, Burkwood viburnum. This is an early blooming deciduous (losing its leaves in the winter) shrub. It begins to bloom in March, with pink buds opening to extremely fragrant, medium size blooms with a fairly open form. Pruning may be done after bloom to open it up or control its 8′-10′ size.
Another viburnum, Viburnum macrocephalum, or Snowball Viburnum, is often commented on when it’s in full bloom in the Birmingham area. Its blooms really do look like big snowballs (some also mistake them for hydrangea blooms, but this shrub blooms much earlier.) The buds, when forming, are a beautiful green. They mature to white, unscented blooms, but impressive nonetheless! This deciduous shrub will grow to 20′ with a rounded shape, but can also be pruned to create a tree form as well.
There are countless spiraeas that begin to leaf out in early spring and have many tiny blooms along arching stems – Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ has beautiful golden leaves too, (Ogon means yellow.) This is a lovely 3′-5′ shrub that will do well in a sunny spot.
A native vine in plentiful supply now is Gelsemium sempervirens, Carolina jessamine. This evergreen vine has fragrant, bright yellow blooms usually beginning in March. It is a twining vine, so you will need to give it a trellis to climb on (it’s quite useful for hiding ugly chain link fencing.) Cut it back after it blooms if you need to control growth.
In a future post we’ll talk about the varieties of hollies available – and post pictures of some hollies and other shrubs that owner Billy Angell is planting in his new landscape….
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