I spent a week in mid May amidst the beautiful, mature, elegant plantings of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and I came home expecting to be deflated. How could my immature, sparse, developing garden ever compete with what I had seen? How could my plantings ever grow to look like the inspiring gardens at the botanical garden?
We pulled into the driveway, completely pooped after our trip, and this is what I saw:
It's my doublefile viburnum (V. plicatum tomentosum 'Shasta') and it rivals anything I saw at the country's premiere botanical garden. It is still young. I planted it in 2008, moved it in 2009, and it did not bloom at all after the move. But now, in 2011 it has apparently forgiven me for the prior uprooting.
The horizontal branching makes it look like a tiered wedding cake.
This is what the lacecap flowers look like:
It is planted in the back garden, with the young red maple and a random assortment of perennials, shrubs and groundcovers. It clearly is the anchor and the star of this garden. It will get much, much bigger, but there is room, and its horizontal spread is a welcome form beneath the maple which will also get much, much bigger and a lot taller.
In the fall, it turns a deep mahogany color.
It is such a stunner. It redeemed my flagging faith in my own garden after seeing a professional, mature, well established and highly tended public garden.
I may not have the wonders of a 79 acre botanical garden managed by a staff of 500 (that's more than 6 workers per acre and that is how MoBot staffs its garden; I could do a lot with that kind of manpower).
I may not have centuries old specimens and deep shady installations with benches and bridges and stone sculptures.
But I have a doublefile viburnum 'Shasta' that blooms in the end of May and makes me stop in my tracks.