Stockport Express - - Leisure - HAN­NAH STEPHEN­SON

THE JOY OF PLANTS. CO.UK, a con­sumer ini­tia­tive of the Flower Coun­cil of Hol­land, of­fers tips on two low-main­te­nance, easy-to-grow shrubs: 1. Vibur­num

Vibur­nums come in all shapes and sizes, both de­cid­u­ous and ev­er­green, and most are easy to grow, and thrive in sun or semi-shade.

Among the smaller types is the Vibur­num da­vidii, an ev­er­green which grows up to 1.5m in height and spread, pro­duc­ing dull white flow­ers in May fol­lowed by metal­lic-look­ing blue-black berries which can last the win­ter on the coral-red stalks of fe­male plants.

Use it to pro­vide ground cover and win­ter in­ter­est at the front of a bor­der, in sun or par­tial shade.

Vibur­nums are not fussy, grow­ing in rea­son­ably welldrained soil (they won’t tol­er­ate very dry or very wet soil) with plenty of added or­ganic mat­ter. Prun­ing is not nec­es­sary. Just cut back old or dam­aged branches in late spring. 2. Red­vein enkianthus

This or­na­men­tal de­cid­u­ous shrub, from the eastern Hi­malayas to In­dochina, China and Japan, is part of the heather fam­ily.

E. cam­pan­u­la­tus, which grows up to 3m high, has bell-like flow­ers in white, pink and red, or a mix­ture of the three, while in au­tumn, the leaves turn siz­zling shades of or­ange and red.

It thrives in shady, wood­land spots and needs acid soil, so makes a great plant part­ner for rhodo­den­drons and camel­lias.

●●Vibur­num bod­nan­tense Dawn

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