I had long lusted after Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ (lusted might be too strong a word). I had seen them in parks and open gardens but as VPM is a large shrub – and I only had a little garden – I bided my time. Then, within months of starting work at the Priory, and with all that space to play in, I finally seized my chance.
I bought a small, twelve inch plant in 2009 and dug a hole in the lawn. I can’t find a photo of ‘my’ viburnum prior to the above in May 2012 but after three years, it had tripled in size.
A year later and it was noticeably larger and gaining height as well as width.
By last year (its fifth),
it was clearly visible from a distance.
And now in May 2015 it is looking rather stately and making quite an impact.
It is a beautiful shrub, with tiered, layered branches that suggest its common name – the wedding cake bush. After it has finished flowering, I will carefully prune a few branches to enhance the shape. I’ll also cut a bigger planting square – the mower sometimes snaps off lower branches.
It might eventually reach three metres in height and four wide but not for another ten years or so. I’ve enjoyed its slow-ish growth, development and increasing presence in the garden. Take your time, Mariesii – I’m in no hurry.
A year after I wrote the above,
this is how my V. plicatum ‘Mariesii’ looks in May 2016, its seventh year.
If I remember, I’ll post a photo next year too.