This week I have remade the vase of lichen covered twigs and hydrangea Annabelle from a few weeks ago. Last week I included a few branches of Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ in my vase, saying that I was hoping the viburnum would flower in the warmth of the house. As I had never cut it before I was not sure if it would flower or how long it would take, but here we are a week later and look at the beautiful blossom. I have removed the hawthorn twigs from my jug and replaced them with the flowering viburnum. As the jug now contains living flowers I have filled it with water to prolong their life. I also added a few stems of sweet box that had survived the week. In the small vases are paperwhite narcissi freshly cut from the greenhouse.
I am delighted with the results of my viburnum forcing experiment – these pale pink flowers are so deliciously fragrant – a gentle feminine scent reminiscent of a perfume from days gone by.
I planted 3 of these shrubs as very small specimens in a group together four years ago. This year they have finally reached eye level in height and they are starting to fill out. After a few winters of very sparse blooms I am looking forward to the many cerise coloured buds blossoming in the very near future – a warm afternoon should fill my winter walk with their distinctive perfume.
Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is not only useful as a winter flowering shrub – in the autumn the attractive foliage turns a wonderful shade of red. I am not sure but I think that the flowers are usually a deeper shade of pink than this – perhaps forcing has softened their colour.
As this is Paperwhite season I had to pick the bulbs in the greenhouse that were about to bloom. Last weeks flowers lasted the full week, only starting to shrivel today. I picked these flowers yesterday in bud and they quickly opened in the warmth of the house.
Although I have put the vases together to photograph, they are in different rooms now as I do not want the scents to clash. Both the Paperwhites and the viburnum have distinctive but very different scents. We are so quick to bemoan the dreary winter months and to wish for our gardens to be full of the summer beauties again, but it really is worth taking time to appreciate these winter bloomers with their lovely fragrance and beautiful delicate flowers.
In case you missed it last week, I wrote about my love for hellebores, another winter wonder. Although I have a few H. niger in flower I am waiting for the bulk of my hellebores to bloom with the snowdrops later this month. I am checking them almost daily, but they are just buds for now. We actually had a few flurries of snow last Friday and although it did not stick temperatures are low and the ground is very wet so I am planning a week by the fire catching up on my indoor jobs. I promised you my January To Do list last week, but will make sure I get it written this week and I must also press on with my greenhouse review as the first sowings of the year are in the propagator!
Thank you as ever to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting this lovely meme – do pop over to her blog to see what she and the others have found this week.