For the longest time I wanted a Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn'. It has fragrant pink blooms in April, and grows upright and narrow for a viburnum.
I found a good sized 15 gallon container plant in early 2011 and put it right next to the house, where I could open a window on a warm early spring day and smell its fragrance.
It has bloomed beautifully, although the fragrance wan't much to detect. It's still young, and I hope for more scent as it gets bigger and more floriferous.
The pink blooms were certainly pretty and a welcome sight outside the window when there was not much else to see in April. There is a lot to like about this tall shrub, and I am expectantly waiting for it to mature, flower profusely and fill in.
But this summer a couple things have dawned on me about 'Dawn'.
First. . . . is it supposed to look like this?
It is growing fast, as viburnums do. But really, is this its form? Does anyone else grow Dawn viburnum and can you tell me it is simply immature and will outgrow this awkward stage? The way this plant is growing is bizarre.
Here it is from the other side, just as rangy. I have pruned it extensively, cutting off the wilder arching branches, only to see them regrow in exactly the same direction and exactly the same goofy way.
Second . . . it has dawned on me that "tall and upright" does not mean you should plant it within a foot of the house. From inside the dining room it looks a little scary, with those probing branches angling to get in the window.
I have no excuses. I need to be supervised when there is a shovel in my hands and I am anywhere near the foundation of the house.
This is where any gardeners who have a Dawn viburnum can leave a comment saying Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn' will grow into an elegant shape next year, the flowers will develop a delicate but intense aroma, and the final form of this shrub will be decidedly narrow, no more than three feet across at maturity.