All this time at home, and it’s been too cold and wet to do much in the garden lately. In fact, it snowed all afternoon today, damn it! So I have not much to do but think up schemes, schemes that will further explode my garden budget deficit.
What I’ve been thinking about lately is Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium), and what a disappointment it’s been. I’ve got 3 of them, planted about 10 years ago, along the far end of the hedge on the west side of the garden.
They’re a total flop in terms of the items of seasonal interest they are supposed to offer. Spring flower clusters? Nope. Summer fruits of interest to birds? Nope. Fall foliage color? Nope. They get about half a day of sun – they only need part shade – and fairly moist soil (especially in spring). So I don’t know what their excuse is, and I don’t care either.
I could replace them. With what, though?
Lately I’ve had Pussy Willows (Salix discolor) on my mind quite a bit. Judy likes the idea of having those fuzzy catkins to bring indoors in the earliest days of spring. They’re also excellent wildlife plants.
However, the fuzzy catkins grow only on the male Pussy Willow plants. The female plants have flowers that are supposed to be nice also, although the Brooklyn Botanic Garden says they look like “fuzzy green caterpillars”.
So I had to look for a while, but I eventually found a retailer that specifically sells the male Pussy Willow plants. Only thing is, they’re just 2-3′ tall. My Blackhaw Viburnums right now are 8 – 10′. So that would leave a gap. On the other hand, Willows tend to grow pretty fast.
So what do you think? Out with the Blackhaw Viburnums, in with the Pussy Willows? Should I go for it?