I’ve always believed that the simplest things can bring the most joy in life. People have said it over the years in various clever ways because you can’t escape its truth. For me, the presence of a simple botanical that costs me nothing and is within reach just a few steps from the back door brings much happiness.
I love our hydrangeas and roses and grapevines too, but if you asked me what my favorite blooming perennial is, I wouldn’t hesitate to answer “Viburnum!” (Although ask me again next spring after the new lilac bush I planted has blossomed and I may have changed my story.) There are over 100 varieties of viburnum and the one growing in our yard is ‘Chinese Snowball’ which blooms in small white puffs that resemble mini hydrangeas.
It grows tall and wild on woody stems each season, but unlike the hungry citrus or temperamental grapevines, it tolerates my frequent neglect and still gives me the most beautiful white blossoms every April.
They first bloom in a vivid lime green color (pruned and placed in a vase, seen here) and then quickly turn to white puffballs in the spring sunshine. They only bloom for a few weeks but when they do, I hurry to gather many arrangements and fill up vases around the house.
In early fall the viburnum gifts me once more with gorgeous stems of leaves that have turned all shades of amber and gold (see them on last year’s autumn mantel). Wherever I live, I know I’ll always have a viburnum planted somewhere in the yard.
What is your favorite perennial that blooms each season?