November Plant of the Month – Viburnam
The Viburnum group of both evergreen and deciduous shrubs is a large one indeed and is able to provide beauty and interest all year round. So much so in fact that Viburnums could be chosen as a plant for every month! Most have white or pink flowers, many are sweetly perfumed, some have berries in colours ranging through yellow and red to shiny black and most of the deciduous varieties have an autumn colour display to rival even the Japanese Maples.
In November the evergreen Viburnum tinus has glossy, dark green leaves and clusters of red, pink or white buds which will provide colour all winter until they open into small white or pink flowers in spring. At the same time the Viburnum bodnantense group, including “Dawn” and “Charles Lemont”, are showing their richly coloured autumn leaves to be followed by sweetly scented, rose tinted flowers which last into winter and beyond. Also at this time of year Viburnum opulus – the Guelder Rose – is showing off its red, maple like autumn leaves and its rich red, translucent fruits which last well into winter. If that is not enough in the summer the shrub is covered in flattened clusters of white flowers like those of a Lacecap Hydrangea.
Viburnums are hardy, easy to grow shrubs and can be controlled in shape and size by pruning as soon as flowering is over. They will grow in sun or semi-shade and do best in a reasonably fertile, moisture retentive soil.