Another shrubbery: My viburnum

“It is a good shrubbery. I like the laurel particularly.”

Yeah, that’s a good shrub, but my viburnum mariesii, which I purchased and planted last year, is a great shrub:
The folks in the nursery talked it up well—flowers in the spring, nice symmetrical shape when covered by leaves in the summer or bare in the winter, remarkable foliage in the fall, and the always-important deer and insect resistance. It sounded like a no-brainer. My only reservation was the humongous root ball I'd have to get in the ground. I gave it a little shove in the nursery and was able to rock it, and so figured I could coax it into the hole I had dug after it and several other big plants were delivered. I very much regret not taking pictures of that hole, the root ball, and my ensuing battle with both, but I’ll try to explain my challenging few hours with them here.

To start, I actually wanted to see what it looked like in another spot in the yard; however, when the delivery dude showed up, where it ended up was as far up the hill as we were able to wheel it. Then, after taking some careful measurements of the ball, with shovel, pick axe, and tiller I enlarged the hole to 30” deep and 5-feet wide. I watered just the center of the hole, to ensure the root ball would have some water reach it from all angles, but was careful to leave the edges of the hole dry, so that I would have footing in there. Now it was just the simple matter of me dropping it into place. Quite foolishly, yes, I did step into the hole. Muscling the couple-hundred-pounder toward me, I leaned my shoulder into it and tried to manage a controlled fall into place. It worked for about the first foot, as I gradually let up on the pressure I was exerting so as to let it descend very slowly. And then I knew I had to get both of my feet out of the way quickly, jumping back as I felt gravity winning. The plant came down, crashing into place perfectly centered, but 180 degrees the wrong way. No problem, I figured, I could just spin it around. Having watered the bottom of the hole, however, there was no pushing or spinning the plant which was now stuck in the mud. I then took some 2x4s turned sideways, wedged them under the root ball at intervals, and positioned some small logs under them to use as fulcrums to lift and spin the damn thing. Eventually I got it rotated correctly, but it was way off center. After wrestling with it for awhile longer, the centering seemed a bit better, and I decided it looked fine just where it was...
After watching it endure some transplant shock throughout the summer, it put on a nice foliage display last autumn.
I actually remember the color being more salmon, but owing to the number of leaves on the ground, I’ll guess that I simply failed to get a shot of it at peak.

Now, it’s in full bloom, and better landscaped...

First, I would point out the open casement windows: You can be assured that the 701s inside were cranking some classic rock as I was tending to this scene this spring. Back on topic, the viburnum is the first and largest shrub seen as one pulls up the driveway. Further, what’s left of the daffodils I wrote about last week can be seen behind the viburnum; so, my rotating color plan is working. An azalea is also in view back there, all lit up, and shown more prominently here…

Finally, the buds on the rhodies look like they are about to explode.

No doubt, a picture or two of these in bloom will follow…


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