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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

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'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.

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