Viburnums, although the perfect addition to any garden scheme, often get dismissed. Perhaps this may be because they are so easy to grow or perhaps it may be down to the fact that so many flower at times of the year when we are often distracted by the magnificence of the spring bulbs. Whatever the reason it’s completely unjustified, Viburnums should be valued more. They are a varied and versatile shrub which would complement any spring planting scheme. In addition to the Spring flowering varieties, there are also winter flowering and summer flowering shrubs too. There are varieties with great autumn colour and some are great for the wildlife, producing a mass of berries for the local bird population to devour. But perhaps the quality that is most important of all, is their fragrance, especially the spring flowering varieties like viburnum x burkwoodii.

Viburnum x burkwoodii is a medium-sized flowering viburnum with pink-budded white flowers that are set off by dark, shiny foliage. It is described as semi-evergreen as it loses some leaves but hangs on to others. The blush-white flowers of spring-flowering viburnums are often held in pink buds and this pretty combination epitomises the softness of spring – especially on a warm afternoon when the heady fragrance pervades the air.

One of the parents of this garden hybrid is Viburnum carlesii, a popular deciduous shrub noted for the fragrance of its soft pink spring flowers. The Viburnum x burkwoodii hybrid has inherited this quality, together with the evergreen foliage of its other parent, the Chinese species Viburnum utile. The result is a fantastic shrub which The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Although if left to grow Viburnum x burkwoodii can ultimately get quite large, it can be kept smaller by pruning after flowering, making this shrub a great addition to any sized garden. All Viburnums are obliging shrubs on any soil or position but they do not like to be waterlogged. They prefer fertile moist conditions and most can be grown in acid and limy soil, they are also recommended for clay soils too.  Just be aware they are not especially keen on hot baked soils in a south-facing position. All fragrant plants are more fragrant if grown in warm positions because higher temperatures increase nectar flow and scent. So spring-flowering viburnums are best placed in position where it gets warm afternoon sunshine in spring.

The x burkwoodii forms are easier to integrate in mixed borders and can make great additions to the spring woodland border.  The pink buds of the Viburnum look great with the plummy oriental hellebores and sultry May-flowering tulips. Planting a mixed carpet of these plants around the base of the Viburnum, can provide a impressive focal point in any garden. You could try tulip varieties like ‘Queen of Night’,  ‘Paul Scherer’ , the feathered ‘Black Parrot’, the double ‘Black Hero’ and the April-flowering Havran.  All will work well under the canopy of one of my favourite spring flowering shrubs.motilium tablets online