Woo Hoo! Summer is here and there’s so much looking good in the garden this week. The biennials I’ve grown from seed are flowering their socks off and early flowering perennials are making their debut too. However the stars in my garden this week are a couple of shrubs. Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ and Lilacs of course. In our garden they are both at their peak right now.
Viburnum opulus grows wild in the hedgerows and produces clusters of luscious red berries in autumn. The Snowball Bush Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ is a cultivated form which produces the same maple-like leaves and gorgeous flowers but no fruit. In May the flowers are small, round limey-green balls which gradually over a few weeks become larger and turn creamy green then white. By June the branches are bending under the weight of large white blossomy snowballs. It’s a fast growing, tall and wide shrub. When mature they reach 4 metres (13 feet) in height and spread.
This morning I’ve been photographing the flowers. It was not easy as many of them are well above eye level now! I must remember to prune them when flowering is over. It’s easy to do… just remove one in five of the oldest/weakest branches right to the base. A good mulch of manure and garden compost will feed the plant and encourage it to send out new shoots for next year.
Here are the Snowballs with our lovely purple Lilac Syringa vulgaris. Look closely and you’ll see a Snowball bush in the background.
The brilliant thing about both of these shrubs is that anyone can make stunning floral arrangements simply by placing a few stems in a vase. The only tricky bit is remembering that shrubs have woody stems and need a little more care than most blooms to keep them going. The Lilac on it’s own in a vase is quite lovely I think and allowed me to appreciate the gorgeous heart shaped leaves (until they wilted!)
How to cut and condition Lilac and Viburnum.
1) Cut woody shrubs early in the morning when it’s cool and the plant is fully hydrated.
2) Use sharp pruning scissors or secateurs and cut the stems just above a joint. Cut the stems at an angle so they won’t sit flat on the bottom of a vase which prevents them drinking.
3) Remove all leaves then place flowers immediately in a bucket of deep water. Cut some fresh new stems with just leaves
4) Cut a 4cm/2 inch slit up each stem to allow maximum contact with water or sear stem ends for 45 seconds.
5) Change water regularly (every day if possible) and re-cut stems under water or sear stems if necessary.
What’s looking good in your garden or neighborhood this week? You are most welcome join in with Looking Good… just leave a link to this post in your post and leave a comment here with a link to your post. Happy Gardening Gillian 🙂
27 thoughts on “Looking Good 2nd June”
Where I am at the moment, the crape myrtles are in bloom. They are very pretty.
Ooh Lovely! Do they smell like Lilacs too?
They aren’t known for their scent.
Gorgeous Viburnum, looks fantastic with the lilac but I would like it on its own too. Thanks for the tips on conditioning stems from shrubs.
Thanks Christina. I wouldn’t say no to either if a bunch of flowers was offered!
Thanks for the advice on ‘woody stems’. I love the ‘snowballs’ – are they scented?
You are most welcome Sandra. The Snowballs have no scent unlike the Lilacs.
Great tips for preparing shrubby stems, thanks, and fabulous photos.
Thanks for reading Kate and for your lovely comment too.
Oh that dreamy purple and lovely white. Good job.
Thank you very much. Thanks for visiting Alley.
Gorgeous blooms this week. Our lilac is full of blooms this year after not flowering at all last year. I will get some photos when it is fully out.
Thanks Annette. Lilacs sometimes have an off year for some reason. They are making up for it this year although I still have one that has never flowered since we planted it!
Now I am keeping records I can check if it is every other year or just random.
They look wonderful together. Mine don’ t bloom at the same time, the lilac is finished by the time the viburnum gets going. My snowball viburnum is huge and the flowers are all way up high. I will prune mine this year too, a good idea.
Thanks Liz! When shrubs are happy it’s easy to forget all about them and just let them get on with it. I’ll be taking cuttings from mine when I prune it too.
Gorgeous together. My shrubs are too small to cut at the moment, but thanks for the tip on what to do when I have enough material to ‘sacrifice’.
Thanks Cathy. Usually shrubs are fairly fast growing so it won’t be too long until you’ll have loads of blossom to cut.
I’ve never seen Snowball Viburnum. The blooms remind me a bit of those of Hydrangea. Spectacular!
Yes, they are quite similar but I prefer these. They are lovely little lime green balls at first which slowly develop into white globes. The only thing missing is scent really.
I suppose the Viburnum require less water than Hydrangea? That is one of my stumbling blocks. I will have to investigate to see if I can grow these (I’m in the planning stages for adding more shrubs to my yard; this is quite inspirational).
I must admit that we only water newly planted shrubs until they are settled in. We garden on clay and usually have plenty of rain so our shrubs are just left to get on with it!
Sounds like my garden style. I call it ‘survival of the fittest’ around here.
I like that Leah!
Such beautiful photos Gillian. There is just something about Lilacs isn’t there?.. and it looks fantastic in the arrangement you made with the Viburnum. I would love to join in with your looking good posts as it is nice for me to do a short post occasionally about something interesting I have flowering. So I just put a link on my post to your blog and then leave a comment and link to mine here? I think that is how it works! xx
Thanks Kate. I would love you to join in with Looking Good whenever you like.
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