Winter treasure 7: Viburnum

viburnum4/2/2018 The viburnum is one of the very few winter blossoms I have in my garden. Usually the only one, in fact, unless the weather is unseasonably mild and spring blossom arrives early. I know next to nothing about shrubs, but I have managed to identify it with a fair degree of certainty as Viburnum x bodnantense, ‘Dawn’, a large deciduous shrub (bordering on small tree) that produces sweetly fragranced clusters of light pink flowers from autumn to spring.

Last winter, it flowered in late February and early March; this year it started to flower in early December, and was fully in bloom by Christmas Day. It is still flowering now, in early February. Bouts of snow and frost haven’t put it off; and, mercifully, it flowers and leaves seem to be of little interest to the goats. I haven’t observed it closely enough for long enough to know whether there is a pattern, however vague, to its flowering habits; but for now, it seems to me to flower when it feels like it, sometime between November and March.

I don’t mind its unpredictability. I love the anticipation of wondering when it might flower, and the delightful surprise of finding it coming into bloom. When it does, I bury my nose in a cluster of flowers and inhale deeply.