After magnolias, viburnums are my favourite flowering shrubs. A large family, Michael A. Dirr has devoted an entire book to them called “Viburnums Flowering Shrubs for every Season”. From our native species like the nannyberry and arrowwood viburnums that grow by the roadside to the highly scented spring flowering burkwood and koreanspice viburnums from Asia, there is a shrub for every garden.
My favourites are the doublefile viburnums, viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum. They grow into beautiful tiered layers like a japanese pagoda with pure white lacecap flowers icing every branch.
Viburnum plicatum ‘Summer Snowflake’
They grow and flower well in both sun and shade and make exquisite specimen shrubs.
The flowers or more accurately, flower cymes, float above the branches on short stalks
then drop gracefully, littering the ground like snowy confetti.
You can’t go wrong with this magical shrub. Look for the cultivars ‘Mariesi, Shasta or Summer Snowflake’ at your local garden centre or nursery.