Guess what time it is? It's time for the DG County Fair! Now in it's sixth year, enter your blue-ribbon photos or mouth-watering recipes for a chance to win a gift subscription! Click here here to get all the details, dates and entry rules.
In spring I plan to uproot some real junk in my yard. When I say junk I mean the kind of "shrubs" that consist of two to three stems of nondescript plants in my yard that happen to be about 8 feet tall. Two of them are sun locations, and one of them is shady. The people who lived here had such bad taste that I have FIVE burning bushes. I have already pulled out 2 crimson pygmy barberries. I wish I could get rid of the nondescript evergreens, but they are close to underground power systems.
I long for viburnums. I have had viburnum carlesi (supposedly compactum but HUGE), trilobum Spring Green (2), opulus compactum, prunifolium, dentatum 'Chicago Lustre' (2) and 5 late lamented plicatum tomentosum 'Lanarth' that grew for years before being taken out by one bad winter.
I was very lucky in that I knew nothing about cross pollination, but got tons of berries. I did not even know it was an issue until I read Viburnum Valley's threads. That is one area on which I would greatly appreciate guidance.
I think that I have room for three viburnums - 1 for sun, 2 if compactums, and one for shade, the latter of which can be quite large. I love every one I have ever had, although I think that, perhaps, with limited space I should try to install something other than carlesi because of the lack of berries.
But what do I know? It's all been dumb luck. And my practical knowledge is old. Or it is from books, which indicated that my 5 plicatums would survive a zone 5a winter indefinitely. I would greatly appreciate suggestions for viburnums, perhaps bearing in mind cross pollination. I know that I am asking a lot, but there is so much knowledge here. There may be, perhaps, a plicatum that is hardy. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Well - talk about having the rug pulled out from under you...
At least divulge the results! And pics...
You are enviously located between two of the upper Midwest's great plant collections/displays: Chicago Botanic Garden and the Morton Arboretum. Their viburnum collections are outstanding; one could do worse than to visit and pick out the best 20-25 to grow.
You are also right in amongst excellent growers for your climatic conditions, though many are wholesale only to the trade. This does, however, mean that you should be able to get anything you want from retailers in your part of the world.
One of these field and container growers in northern IL (that I've been a customer of for more than 25 years) has more than 40 different viburnums on their list.
Finally: Classic Viburnums is a great mail order source for more viburnums than you probably know exist - over 120 last time I checked. They are located in Nebraska, and should be hardy enough for your conditions.
Congrats on grubbing out the old, and in with the new. You can never have too many viburnums...
I agree with you - but feel free (PLEASE!) to suggest.
Ah, Morton. I had two viburnum dentatum Chicago Lustre (Synnestvedt). I think that will be one of the choices. It was a landscapers choice to cover the garage, but what a cover! Here they are in my old yard (Picture 1) Well, this was one of the two. They were huge! The birds loved them. I understand that they can take part shade. I know people don't think they are the sexiest viburnum but I truly grew to love them. And vigorous. I pruned them like mad (so one would have been enough). One of the things I love about them is the way they grow to the ground. (picture 2). And it is claimed they can take part sun or shade.
Losing five doublefile viburnums in a single year has made me wary of zone hardiness claims. As much as I love them, I think that they are out.
I need to stay a bit small, so I am looking at cultivars of the compact trilobums and opulus. I keep hearing that they look alike but I found them very different. I only had one opulus but it was next to a trilobum and they both berried like mad so I am guessing that they are pollinating each other (wrong?) I had great success with them. There are so many new and beautiful ones (and yes, I went to the website of Classic Viburnums) and almost lost my mind.
I intend to evaluate them in person at Platt Hill Nursery. They have:
Viburnum carlesi ( I had a "compactum" that became a gorgeous monster. Pics 3 and 4. The person put in two. And being huge, one killed the other. A good eight feet tall and quite wide. I am wondering if the one was pollinated by either the dentatum or trilobum that was nearby. Since they all bloomed like mad I surmised that they must be pollinating each other. This is one of the big reasons I am considering them again.
Blue Muffin Arrowwood Viburnum. I have read that the fruit set on this cultivar is disappointing in fruit production. Was it Dirr?
Viburnum nudim Wintertur. Another that can apparently take sun or shade. I've never seen one in person.
Viburnum opulus compactum - had one, loved it. I have read that they are more subject to borers trilobum, but I never experienced it.
Viburnum trilobum 'Bailey Compact' - but Platt notes that fruit set is sparse - hey, what's the point?
Viburnum trilobum 'J.N. Select' aka Redwing. May be too big, but I'm intrigued.
Viburnum opulus "Roseum' - too large.
Judd viburnum (which seems to me would be a carlesi substitute).
I already have my beady eye on the locations from which I can rip out crud.
I am one of those people who starts well in advance. I think that what I am looking for is two more compact viburnums for sun that will pollinate each other. And of course I want it all - the fruit the flowers, the wonderful fall color.
Am I being unreasonable? Yes!
Are viburnums so wonderful that I can be unreasonable? Yes.
Seriously, I would be so grateful for your advice. I am starting to go down the list of Classic Viburnums, but frankly, you are the dude!
It is such a wonderful plant. There were native dentatums near my home, but they were unrecognizable next to this beauty. The shiny leaves are not part of the original cultivar. I have read that the fall color was nothing to write home about but mine was nice too. This is November 7 of last year.
I am really lucky that Morton Arboretum is so close and introduces plants. I purchased two cotinus Nordine Red after it was developed there.
They get REALLY big but I find it one of the most agreeable plants in my yard. So easy to take care of (as in no care) that I took it for granted. Then the flowers! Then a billion berries.
I know that there are "sexier" viburnums but I just have to have this one again.
Thank you for writing. I'm so pleased that you are happy.