WHY YOU SHOULD PLANT IT
A gloriously unfussy shrub that's in bloom right now, V. 'Summer Snowflake' will rebloom again in a more understated way later in summer. It can also grow as tall as three metres, but doesn't get as wide or as rangy as other viburnums.
WHERE TO PLANT IT
'Summer Snowflake' takes sun to light shade in moisture-retaining soil with good drainage. It also needs lots of compost. Plant it with Tulipa 'Spring Green' and variegated Solomon's Seal.
WHAT IT OFFERS
If you want a magnificent early-summer display of pristine white blooms, this is the shrub for you. Living up to the plant's name, the flowers seem to float like snowflakes amid the pleated mid-green leaves on its horizontal branches. The spectacular show and relatively compact shape of the shrub make it a great background plant in a border or a stunning focal point for a small garden, where the sporadic white blooms will add interest when nothing else is around. In the fall, the leaves are a very deep burgundy; berries, which birds love, follow.
SOURCE AND COST
'Summer Snowflake' is available at most good nurseries, including Acton, Ont.'s Lost Horizons ( www.losthorizons.ca), where a three-gallon specimen costs $28. The price varies according to size.