Best of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● Vibur­num

Th­ese colour­ful, scented shrubs are in­valu­able over the win­ter and in spring, pro­vid­ing back­drops for other plants when they are in flower and sea­sonal in­ter­est of their own at other times.

For large bor­ders, V. x bod­nan­tense ‘Charles La­mont’ is a musthave, its del­i­cate pink flow­ers emit­ting a de­li­cious scent from early win­ter to mid-spring. This up­right shrub is ideally planted next to a shel­tered path or en­trance and is a valu­able source of nec­tar for pol­li­nat­ing in­sects.

Other good va­ri­eties in­clude V. da­vidii, which bears white spring flow­ers fol­lowed by metal­lic-look­ing, turquoise blue fruits on or­ange-red stalks. It’s ev­er­green, so at other times its veined dark green leaves are a great foil for other plants. Other types are semi-ev­er­green, such as V. ‘Eskimo’ which pro­duces pom-pom clus­ters of pink-flushed buds open­ing to snow-white flow­ers in spring.

They’re easy to grow in well-cul­ti­vated soil and do best in full sun al­though they will tol­er­ate some shade.

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